Following the approval of expanded land-based casino gambling by New York voters last November and an online poker bill introduced in March, lawmakers now have a new option to take under consideration in the form of a second Internet poker bill recently proposed to the State Assembly.
Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon) introduced A 9509, which draws considerable similarities to S 6913 as proposed by Senator John J. Bonacic (R-Mt. Hope) to the State Senate in late March. Pretlow’s measure, like S 6913, hopes to raise $100 million in license fees by allowing the New York State Gaming Commission to award 10 licenses, each with an attached $10 million fee.
Regarding “bad actors,” A 9509 also aims to exclude gaming companies that saw fit to continue operating in the U.S. marketplace following passage of the UIGEA by the administration of President Bush in October, 2006. The cut-off date for bad actor exclusion is fixed as December 31, 2006.
Provisions in Pretlow’s measure would allow New York to combine online poker player pools with those of other regulated states by way of interstate partnership agreements. The first such collaboration of regulated states has been set in motion by Delaware and Nevada and is expected to launch later this year, perhaps as early as this summer.
New Jersey, thus far the only other state with regulated Internet poker and gambling, has not yet signed on to be included in that scheme. However, preliminary discussions to that effect have taken place with Nevada state officials.
Pretlow chairs the Committee on Racing and Wagering, and pokersites.us reported that the new bill will be discussed first in his own committee. Pretlow has made mention of being leery of the possibilities of cheating and collusion in online poker and that topic will likely command considerable attention by his colleagues on the committee.
Should this latest bill or the one proposed by Bonacic find approval by lawmakers, New York may become a hotbed of gambling expansion. A handful of commercial land-based casinos are set to be constructed that will likely keep New Yorkers from crossing the border to gamble in adjoining states. If online poker is approved, players will also have the option of looking at hole cards and wagering for real-money via the Internet.