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New York State Poker Bill

Posted on July 2, 2017 | Comments Off on New York State Poker Bill

Senator John Bonacic is preparing for round two with the Assembly, regarding his online poker bill. In the first round, held almost a year ago, Bonacic suffered a defeat, since his bill hasn’t even been brought to vote. A couple of days ago, New York’s state Senate have voted in favour of allowing online poker within state borders, but this doesn’t have to mean anything, if we take under consideration the events from the last year.

Senator John Bonacic’s S-3898 online poker bill, which would allow a maximum 11 licensees to partner with online technology vendors to offer regulated poker games to individuals over 21 years of age within state borders, got through the state Senate, with a 54-8 in favour. The results of the vote are similar to those from 2016, when the Senate voted 53-5 in favour of the bill, but that did not have any influence on the Assembly, because the proposal has never been brought up for vote. If passed it would allow 11 New York online poker sites

Bonacic’s biggest foe in previous attempts was Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, and it is expected he will be the toughest nut to crack this year as well, since he has been offering mixed messages regarding the fate of the online poker bill. Pretlow’s main concern is that the proposed bill will not have that big a support in the Assembly, but, on the other hand, there has been a significant shift in opinion in previous months. The sources for the Assembly say that it can even happen that the bill could wait until 2018 before it is presented before the Assembly.

Bonacic is certain that Pretlow is more than prepared to support the proposal. His opinion is that the timing is perfect, since the resistance in the Assembly is not as strong as it was last year. The Chairman of the Assembly Racing, Wagering and Gaming Committee is now more open for talks and that this time he will get more Assembly members on board.

The clock is ticking, since there are only a few working days left before the current legislative session comes to an end. If the bill passes, it will definitely double the number of players in the online USA legal poker market. We are entering a nail-biting finish, at least when talking about the supporters of the proposal. Whether the S-3898 online poker bill will become a reality or not, we will know in the next few days. Let’s hope for the best, and in that case both houses will pass the bill to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, who needs to approve it before it becomes law. Cuomo was involved in an incident during his 2014 election campaign, when the former Amaya CEO David Baazov made an illegal $25k donation, and because of that some think that he will not approve the bill that easily. Optimists believe that it will only be a formality.

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