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New York Senator Introduces Bill to Legalize Online PokerPublished May 25, 2015 by Elana K
New York senator John Bonacic would like to see online poker legalized in the Empire State; but are lawmakers on board?
New York Senator, John Bonacic, has introduced a bill that would see the regulation of online poker in the Empire State.
Bonacic’s bill, S5302-2015, would allow New York operators to form intrastate agreements with New Jersey, as well as Nevada and Delaware, the other two states that have thus far legalized online gambling.
Bonacic’s bill would also not include a “bad actor” clause, a clause that would ban companies who operated after the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. This means that PokerStars, who violated the UIGEA, would be allowed to operate freely in New York, and not face the trouble it faced for a long time in New Jersey. Bonacic claims that not including a “bad actor” clause in the bill would give New York internet gambling a greater shot at succeeding.
S5302-2015 would also bring about a small but significant change to New York’s current gambling laws. As of now, all games of chance must be played inside a casino - otherwise, it is considered illegal. Bonacic would like to see the definition of “games of chance” change to exclude poker, and thus make it legal not only at traditional casinos.
Show Me the Money
If Bonacic’s bill gets passed, New York could see the entrance of ten operators onto the market - but these ten would have to pay a hefty fee in order to receive licensing. According to S5302-2015, each of the ten operators would need to pay $10 million in order to receive a license allowing them to operate in the state of New York.
This means that the New York government would experience a rush of income to the tune of $100 million - not to mention the 15% tax that each operator would pay on its gross gaming revenue. While it is difficult to say no to that kind of money, no hearing has yet been scheduled for Bonacic’s bill.