NY State to Introduce Online Poker?

The situation in the state of New York is not bright when it comes to online gambling. The state blocks every company involved in the US iGaming market after December 31, 2006 but that’s about to change…

…as New York Senator Joseph Addabbo launched a new bid to legalize online poker!

Already Senate Bill 18 (S00018) is filed by the newly-appointed chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee. According to the bill, only those older than 21 will have the right to play online poker.

Furthermore, it is expected that up to 11 online poker licenses will be issued but licensed video lottery gaming facilities and tribal gaming casinos are the only ones eligible to apply. The bill proposes for a 10-year license to be issued…

…but every licensee will be obliged to pay an up-front fee of $10 million. Furthermore, the state will not skip to collect the tax on gross gaming revenue, which is estimated at 15%.

Restrictions Are Not So Bad

Even though only a small number of facilities will even have an opportunity to apply, they will be allowed an unlimited number of skins under the license. It is important to mention that each of the partners will have to be approved by the New York State Gaming Commission.

Nevertheless, a so-called bad actor clause is included in the legislation.

Let’s explain

Companies which offered online gaming in the United States after December 31, 2006 will NOT be allowed to provide their services in the state of New York. Why December 31st, 2006? Because…

…it was when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) was enacted.

But, it goes even further!

Namely, the clause specifies that companies which has acquired a business active in the US after that date or those that employed an individual are also permitted to apply for the license.

The bill has been referred to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee for further scrutiny.

Abbaddo has focused on online gambling lately and this is the second piece of gambling legislation he filed in the past month. The first one is S00017…

…that deals with land-based, online and mobile sports betting throughout the state.

Speaking of Sports Betting

The bill proposes for sports betting gross revenue tax to be 8.5%. In addition, a royalty fee of 0.2% of each operator’s handle will be included. The operators will have to pay it to the State Gaming Commission after each quarter!

However, there are some restrictions here as well. Only state casinos will be eligible to offer sports betting in New York, but they will not be permitted to use the official data provided by the league for betting purposes.

The US professional sports leagues could submit for a share of the funds collected by April 30 every year. Just like it is the case with new online poker bill, the sports wagering bill will be allocated to the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.


“New York Senator files online poker bill”, igamingbusiness.com, January 8, 2019.

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