New York Online Poker Bill is Back

New York’s chances to become the fifth US state to authorize and regulate online poker remain intact for 2018, with two still-active measures remaining on the state’s legislative docket for consideration later this year.

The first of the two bills which have now been returned to their respective State Senate and Assembly Committees is the S3898 measure proposed by State Sen. John Bonacic. Bonacic, a Republican from New York’s 42nd Senate District, has introduced an online-poker legalization bill in every legislative session since 2014.

Since New York’s state legislature conducts its business in two-year sessions, the S3898 bill that Bonacic championed remains active, even though it died in New York’s State Assembly as of the end of 2017 without being called for a vote.

Sen. Bonacic, though, has succeeded in getting a New York online poker bill passed in each of the past two years by not only his originating committee, the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, but by the full New York Senate as well. That bodes well for S3898 to be passed again in 2018, perhaps even without any additional amendments; the active version of S3898 is the same version that the Senate approved last June on a lopsided 54-8 vote. That bill would authorize up to 11 online licenses serving New Yorkers, with each licensee assessed a $10 million application and licensing fee, plus GGR (gross gaming revenue) taxed at a workable 15 percent. Players would have to be 21 or older to participate in real-money wagering.

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