New Online Poker Bill Introduced in New York after State Legislators Speak Out Against RAWA

USA FlagThe state of New York seems to be moving forward when it comes to online poker legislation. Just last week, five democratic legislators signed a letter that showed their opposition to the Restoration of America’s Wire Act introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz. The group of legislators stated that the measure would be trampling on the rights of the states if passed through Congress.

According to Poker News Daily, five State Senators of New York signed the bill to show their opposition to the RAWA legislation. Diane Savino, David Carlucci, David Valesky, Jeffrey Klein and Tony Avella all signed the letter stating that any action taken in the capital in regards to online poker or gaming would severely affect the state of New York.

Currently the state offers online gaming in the lottery and racing industries. The New York Lottery offers three gaming options that includes the Cash for Life, Mega Millions and Lotto games, all with a subscription service offered online. Horse racing wagers can also be made online thanks to efforts by the New York Racing Association. If the RAWA legislation passed and became law, all of these options would cease to exist unless carve-outs were made.

Not long after the letter by the democrats was sent out, a new online poker bill was introduced in the state. State Senator John Bonacic introduced Senate Bill 5302 for consideration, which would allow intra-state online poker gaming that would be regulated by the state’s Gaming Commission.

Bonacic first tried to see online poker come to fruition in 2014 but failed to see his bill move forward. The new bill is quite similar and offers operators licensing opportunities at a price tag of $10 million for ten years with a ten operator cap in the state. Sites would be taxed 15% and would offer Texas hold’em and Omaha gaming. Non-licensed operators would be subject to criminal charges.

There is a major change to this new bill when compared to Bonacic’s 2014 measure. In last year’s measure, a bad actor clause was included that would have restricted game play from certain companies who operated after the UIGEA was activated. This would of course include PokerStars. However, this new version of the bill does not include bad actor clauses.

Despite the changes to the bill for 2015, it will most likely still be some time before the state sees any movement for online poker legislation. The governor has yet to reveal his stance on the matter so only time will tell if the legislation will move forward or will stall as it did in 2014.

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