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New York State Poker Bill

July 2, 2017 Category :Legislation Off

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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New Yorkers Still Waiting

June 8, 2017 Category :Legislation Off

For several years now, Senator John Bonacic has been trying to pass an online poker bill, which would make online poker legal in New York, and it seems that, after yet another failure in 2016, when the piece never made it to Assembly consideration, there are some chances for the bill to see the light of day by the end of 2017. Last year, Bonacic’s biggest foe was Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, who has been chairing the Assembly Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee for several years now. His previous statement concerning the proposed bill was that it will not have that big a support in the Assembly.

Obviously, something has changed from the last proposal, since Pretlow stated in February that there has been a significant shift in opinion in the Assembly, and that they will welcome the poker bill in 2017. However, it has proved more than once that the Assembly is a very tough nut to crack. New York’s Senate Finance Committee voted to send the S-3898 online poker bill, even though the decision was not unanimous. Five members were against it, but we will never know their reasons, since there was no debate preceding the actual vote. Such a decision of the Committee was widely expected, concerning the same outcome in the 2016.

As for the Assembly, there are lots of news concerning the current resistance against the poker bill among plenty of Assembly members, according to New York journalist Andrew Whitman. If we are to believe his reports, the biggest problem isn’t the poker bill, but the notion that the Assembly is “making it too easy” for New York residents to gamble, bearing in mind the fact that a large portion of new land-based casinos recently started their business in the state.

There is also the matter of tribal casino operators, which will certainly oppose, but, according to Pretlow, if Gov. Andrew Cuomo realizes that this bill will guarantee a profit of $100,000,000 in cash, he will definitely be on board. On the other hand, Cuomo needs to be careful, due to the scandal involving him, David Baazov, the former CEO of Canada’s Amaya Gaming, and $25,000 of illegal donation during 2014 campaign, so this question could be re-activated if Cuomo finds himself in the centre of an online poker bill. No wonder Cuomo is trying to distance himself from online poker for the time being.

We will have to wait until the end of June for the final outcome of the S-3898 story. So far, we know that the bill has to go through three Assembly committees before the final vote. Anything is possible, but, if everything goes as on the Committee voting, New Yorkers will have regulated gambling soon enough. Pretlow is a slight optimist regarding the outcome of the voting in the following month or so, but also states that it might happen that New York’s poker players may have to wait one more year, if the bill doesn’t reach the floor vote.

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New Jersey Legalizes Poker and Casino

January 24, 2014 Category :Legislation Off

Seal of New JerseyOnline poker is now legal in New Jersey.  That’s right!  If you live in New Jersey you can now legally play poker online as they have joined Nevada and Delaware as the third state to legalize online gambling, or at least some form of online gambling.  The bill was passed in February of 2013 and the first casino was launched in November, 2013.

In simple terms, the bill that was passed in an overwhelming majority, allows casino operators of New Jersey casinos to launch online gambling sites that offer both online poker and casino games.  Sports betting was not part of the bill.  New Jersey will continue to try to get sports betting legalized at both their brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City and their online casinos.

So far the only other two states to offer online poker are Nevada and Delaware.  There continues to be talk about the states joining forces so the poker sites can work together.  This will eventually happen, but no one knows when that will be.  Most states are struggling for money and this is one way for states to create revenue.  The state of New Jersey stands to make a 15% tax from online casinos which could be substantial.  There is no doubt that 2014 will bring more states into the online casino industry.  It is just too good to pass up and once they see how much revenue is being created they will surely jump at the chance and legalize online gambling in their respective states.

The big catch is that you must live in New Jersey to play online poker in New Jersey. If you live outside the state you will not be able to create an account. This is monitored by the players IP address which tells the poker room and casino where the player is located. While there has been some complications with this approach, in all it has worked rather well.

Depositing and withdrawing to the online sites is done with fairly easy.  Most online casinos take major credit cards and debit cards while withdrawing is done by check or bank wire. Because these sites are fully licensed and regulated in the state making credit card deposits is much easier than using an offshore poker site or casino. Some banks however have made the decision to not allow gambling transactions. We think the banks have gone a little too far here “protecting” their customers from themselves, and if your credit card is issued by one of these banks you will not be able to deposit.

Caesars Interactive Entertainment is the active player behind the New Jersey online casinos.  They are the leader in the industry for now but we assume many casinos will follow suit.

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