New York Assembly and Senate Approve DFS Bill; Online Poker Bill Dead
Despite significant momentum last week, it appears online gaming regulation in New York is unlikely to happen in the immediate future.
The path to regulation in New York began earlier this month when the New York Senate Finance Committee reported with a 20-8 vote to the Senate floor Senator John Bonacic’s online poker legalization bill, S5302C.
Momentum took off from there with last week with the Senate resoundingly passing the bill by a 53-5 vote. The bill's next step was to be approved by the state's other legislative house, the Assembly. However, the bill stalled with no signs of it coming close to be voted on for approval.
That means the online poker bill in New York is done for the year.
However, despite the bill failing to take its next step to become law last week before the legislative session ended, poker players should walk away with two positive things. First of all, the approval by the Senate of the bill marked the first time since New Jersey, the last of the three states to create a regulated online gaming regime, passed its bill into a law in February 2013. It is possible that this momentum will help when the two houses reconvene for their next session.
With many poker players enjoying daily fantasy sports (DFS), perhaps the biggest news to come out of New York last week was the passing of a DFS bill in the state's legislature. The Assembly first passed a bill on Friday before the Senate passed the bill a few hours before the 2016 legislative session ended.
In order for the bill to now become law, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will need to either sign it with 10 days or merely not veto the bill during that time frame.
If the bill becomes law, it will allow for DFS sites to operate with a temporary permit while awaiting a regulated license. Regulated daily fantasy sites will be taxed 15 percent from gross revenue less prizes or what we refer to in poker as the rake and another 0.5 percent in licensing fees which cap out at $50,000. The taxes are reported to be earmarked towards education.
According to The New York Daily News, Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee Chairman Gary Pretlow described the passing of DFS regulation through the legislature as "a collaborative effort between both houses," before adding that, "I think players of fantasy sports will be pleased."
*Lead image courtesy of Wikipedia.org.