State Senator John Bonacic proposed a bill to legalize online poker within the state last year and this bill will be up for discussion next week, as a hearing has been scheduled with the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee of the state Senate. Last week, a separate proposal was introduced within the State Assembly covering online poker gaming.
The bill by Bonacic was heard back in September but no vote took place. The similar bill was proposed by Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, but has yet to be heard within the gaming committee of the Assembly. The hearing of Bonacic’s bill will take place on the 2nd and will be streamed live from location, allowing interested parties to view what takes place.
Both proposals will have a tax rate of 15% on operators who would provide online poker gaming, with operator paying $10 million in licensing fees for a 10 year license. New York has already been busy with casino gaming, having awarded licenses late last year, already having tribal venues and racetracks located within the state borders.
New York must become more invested in their gaming industry if they want to keep up with changes happening to neighboring states, especially Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a top provider of casino and poker gaming, having been interested in online poker for some time. The state has yet to pass legislation but would be big competition to New York if they begin to offer iPoker gaming first.
The Racing, Gaming and Wagering Meeting will take place at the NYS Capitol Building starting at 9:30am on February 2nd. The meeting has several bills on the agenda including lottery topics and racing. Bonacic’s S5302B is on the agenda, and will discuss allowing interactive poker games. It will be interesting to see the outcome once the hearing takes place, seeing if the bill actually receives a vote and moves closer to becoming law.
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