A bill to regulate
online poker in New York has passed to the Senate after receiving approval
Thursday from the Finance Committee.
Bonacic's Senate Bill
5302 was introduced in
May 2015 before being amended and recommitted to the Racing, Gaming and
Wagering Committee in January this year.
Having already passed
the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, the bill was approved yesterday
by the Finance Committee with 20 votes in favour and 8 against.
Under the proposed
legislation, licensees will be taxed at 15 per cent of gross gaming revenue and
pay a one-time licensing fee of $10m for a ten-year licence. This fee is
designed to cover the market’s start-up costs over its first three years.
As with other states,
the bill looks to restrict licences to those already active in the land-based
gaming market. Those eligible to apply for approval to offer online poker must
already have a video lottery gaming or Class III gaming facility licence and experience
of operating interactive gaming in a state with similar licensing requirements.
these capabilities or competences, however, can still obtain a licence if they
can provide guarantees of the “acquisition of adequate business competence and
experience in the operation of interactive gaming.”
This opens the door
for land-based operators to partner experienced iGaming operators, as is the
case in neighbouring New Jersey.
Play will be
restricted to those over the age of 21, with operators required to put in place
controls to help prevent compulsive gambling and gambling from
outside New York state borders.
The bill does not set
out a restriction on the number of licences available, nor does
it include any so called 'bad actor' clauses to ban operators and
suppliers active in the US after the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling
Enforcement Act in 2006.
It does, however,
include wording to allow the New York Gaming Commission to develop
regulations to allow for revenue sharing between states.
S5302 now faces a full
vote in the New York Senate. If it is passed along with its Assembly
companion bill A9049,
it will head to Governor Andrew Cuomo for approval, with entry into force
180 days later.
A9049, introduced by
Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, is still at committee stage, and yet to be voted on
by the Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee.