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New York Senator Introduces Intrastate Online Poker Bill

New York State Senator John Bonacic has introduced a bill to his legislative body which would legalize and regulate online poker.

The bill would allow of online cash and tournaments, and is currently awaiting debate before the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.

Detail wise, the bill would tax and regulate the activity, and charge operators a $10 million licensing fee. A 15% tax on Gross Gaming Revenue would also be implemented.

Other details of the bill are:

  • There's a "bad actor" clause disqualifying any operator who 'illegally' delivered gambling services in the USA after the imposition of the UIGEA.

  • The bill allows for the state to negotiate compacts with other like-minded states that have passed online poker laws.

  • The proposal asserts that poker is a game of skill - an important distinction in defining criminality in gambling.

  • A licensing fee of $10 million is suggested, along with a tax rate of 15 percent of GGR; in return for that just 10 operators will get a license which has a 10-year duration.

  • Regulators have six months to present regulations once/if the bill passes into state law, and licenses must be issued within six months thereafter.

  • Importantly, there is a requirement that player funds be kept in segregated accounts.

  • The usual provisions are made to ensure that players are within the state borders, and for the exclusion of bots, under aged and problem gamblers, along with minimum standards for the protection of privacy and the offering of fair games.

  • Comprehensive requirements are listed for probity checks on the senior management and shareholders of aspirant operators.

  • Specifically makes the offering of unlicensed [in New York] online gambling services a criminal offence, although this does not seem to go as far as making individual players criminals, as has been the case in the state of Washington.

Those interested in the language of the bill can read the details at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?sh=printbill&bn=S6913&term=2013

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