NEW YORK SENATOR JOHN BONACIC REFILES ONLINE POKER LEGALIZATION BILL
 
S-3898 seeks to permit online poker games.
 
New York state Senator John Bonacic has made good on his pledge to start 2017 with a renewed attempt to legalize online poker, filing Senate Bill S-3898 this week in the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, which he chairs.
 
Observers have noted that the bill is very similar to last year's S-5302 authored by the senator which sailed through the Senate but failed in the Assembly in the closing days of the legislative season when Rep. Gary Pretlow failed to push it.
 
As such, the Bonacic bill suggests that 11 online poker licenses of 10 years duration be issued to licensees who already have gambling-related licensing from the state, These firms may create joint ventures with relevant and acceptable technology companies to further their online poker ambitions.
 
The fee has been kept at a hefty single payment of $10 million (that can be offset against future taxes incurred at a rate of 15 percent based on GGR).
 
Importantly, Bonacic has included a provision that would allow player pool sharing with like-minded states which have similarly legalized online poker.
 
Hopes have already been expressed that Representative Pretlow, who chairs a key Assembly committee on gaming, may be more informed and amenable to online poker legalization following his recent interaction with the New Jersey Division for Gaming Enforcement, where legalized online gambling – including poker – has been very successfully licensed and regulated.
 
That should make passage through the Assembly easier, assuming that the Senate again gives the bill its approval.