Another online poker bill has been introduced in New York. Five weeks after Republican State Sen. John Bonacic introduced S 6913, a bill that would allow certain interactive poker games, to the New York Senate, State Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow (D-Mt. Vernon) has introduced A09509 in the state assembly.
The purpose of the bill, which is strikingly similar to its Senate counterpart, is “to authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically ‘Omaha Hold’em’ and ‘Texas Hold’em.’”
The bill would authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license such games by amending the Racing, Pari-Mutual Wagering and Breeding Law.
"Presently, numerous New York residents are participating in illegal, unregulated and unsafe gaming operations which offer games of chance over the Internet," the bill states. "This bill will allow the state to license operators that meet the high standards set by the state and offer limited games of poker which require a high level of skill. This bill will require such operators to take steps to protect consumers, combat compulsive gaming, and prevent minors from accessing online gaming sites."
Other highlights from the bill include:
- The state would offer up to 10 licenses for interactive gaming;
- Each license would cost $10 million and be good for ten years;
- Operators would have to pay 15% tax on their “interactive gaming gross revenue”;
- Anyone that operated in the U.S. after Dec. 21, 2006, like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, would be ineligible for a license;
- Certain standards must be enacted to protect against underage gaming, fraud and compulsive gambling;
- Regulations would be due 180 days after passage of a bill. Consequently, licenses would not be issued for at least 180 days after that; and
- The bill allows for interstate compacts.
The bill continues: “The legislature further finds that as the internet has become an integral part of society, and internet poker a major form of entertainment for many consumers, any interactive gaming enforcement and regulatory structure must begin from the bedrock premise that participation in a lawful and licensed gaming industry is a privilege and not a right, and that regulatory oversight is intended to safeguard the integrity of the games and participants and to ensure accountability and the public trust.”
Neither of the bills are expected to make much movement in 2014, though Bonacic believes such bills will help spur discussion at a time when nearby states are either taking advantage of or exploring iGaming.
To see A09509 in its entirety, click here.
*Photo courtesy of shutterstock.com.