Legislators in New York are moving ever closer to legalising online poker in the state, as Senator John Bonacic’s online poker bill, S5302C, passed the Senate by a vote of 53-5.
Although the bill still has some way to go before being written into law, the move has been heralded as the first major development for interactive gaming in the US since Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey passed their online gambling bills.
Poker players and industry stakeholders welcomed the latest progress, with well-known poker professional Jason Sommerville using his Twitter account to call on New York residents to help the bill pass the finish line.
Meanwhile, MGM Resorts International, which looks poised to enter the market following its $900m acquisition of 50 percent of Borgata Hotel and Spa, praised the momentum of the bill.
This bill will open opportunities for all providers of online poker to deliver a safe, regulated alternative.
“We applaud the Senate for passing this sensible legislation that will help protect New Yorkers who have for years played online poker on unprotected, off-shore poker websites that today operate with no regulation, fraud controls, or age restrictions,” said MGM general counsel John McManus. “This bill will open opportunities for all providers of online poker to deliver a safe, regulated alternative.”
The news came as New York’s Assembly passed A10736 – a bill proposing the legalisation of Daily Fantasy Sports – in a lopsided vote of 91-22. An identical version of the bill, sponsored by Gary Pretlow, must now make it through a vote in the Senate.
Should Pretlow’s bill make it into law, DFS operators will face a tax rate of 15 percent of GGR – the proceeds of which will go into education – as well as a tiered licensing system that is designed to pave the way for smaller operators to offer services in the state alongside DraftKings and FanDuel.