Saturday September 5,2015 : NEW YORK STATE TO DISCUSS ONLINE POKER NEXT WEEK
Senate gambling committee will hold hearing on September 9.
New York State Senator John Bonacic is preparing for a meeting of his Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee next Wednesday to hear opinions on legalised online poker following the introduction of the Senator's poker-only proposal S 5302 earlier this year.
Titled "Discussing the Future of Online Poker in New York State", the four-hour session will hear testimony from a number of witnesses, including the executive director of the Poker Players Alliance, John Pappas.
Whilst the full witness list has not yet been published, Sen. Bonacic has recently revealed that he intends to call industry stakeholders to ensure that all the bases are covered in the discussion.
Many parties have expressed disappointment that the Bonacic bill is confined to online poker, with some pointing out that the genre generates less than 20 percent of online gambling revenues in New Jersey.
However, New York has a population twice that of New Jersey, and a recent study commissioned by MGM Resorts indicated that around $110 million annually is currently being spent on unregulated offshore internet poker websites by New Yorkers.
The study estimated that a legalised regime has the capacity to generate up to $80 million in taxes and fees for the state.
Sen. Bonacic argues that a New York District Court has already concluded that online poker is a game predominantly of skill, strengthening his proposal.
S.5302, introduced in May this year (see previous InfoPowa report) proposes a 15 percent tax on GGR and the issue of 10 carefully allocated licenses, along with authority to negotiate inter-state player sharing compacts with like-minded states.