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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 York and California Closer

March 5, 2017 Category :Legal Off

Several states in the US have been pushing to legalize online poker for years back. Currently it seems that New York and California are the closest to achieve this feat. New York Senate Gaming Committee voted unanimously in favor of online poker bill proposed by Senator John Bonacic, while one of the key men in the Assembly, Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow has recently stated that there are strong chances of New York legalizing online poker n 2017. Meanwhile in California another Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer and Assemblyman Adam Gray are pushing this year’s online poker bill.

Pretlow Making Way for the New Law in New York

The first attempts to legalize online poker in the State of New York date back to 2013 when the first proposals were made in the Senate. However, these attempts had no results as at that time Assembly had another gambling issue on their agenda – legalizing non-tribal casinos. At that time Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow was working on the expansion of land-based casinos.

The following year Senator John Bonacic, Chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee appears with a draft bill and pushes the initiative further, but again with no significant results. In the years to come Bonacic continued pushing further until 2016 when his bill passed the Senate Committee but the person who denied it the support in the Assembly was precisely Pretlow. The main reason for that was, as Pretlow explained is that he had doubts concerning arguments that online poker would be considered a game of skill and legalized as such.

The main aim of Bonacic’s bill S 3893 and consequently introduced bill A 5250 sponsored by Pretlow himself, is to legalize online poker as a game of skill in which case the process does not conflict the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. After a careful analysis of the procedures and operations of New Jersey and other states that allow online poker, Pretlow stands behind one of the bills and believes that by the end of 2017 New York could become the fourth state where online poker is legal.

California Plans to Boost Horse Racing Industry with the Revenue from Online Poker

California is continuing ten-year long battle to legalize online poker and last year Assemblyman Adam Grey came close as his bill passed the Appropriations Committee but failed at the Assembly. This month Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer joined Gray in the battle and they proposed a new bill under which the racetracks will not be eligible to compete for a license but they will receive an annual subsidy worth $60 million. Card rooms and tribal casinos will be entitled to apply for a license. Under the new law persons under 21 and outside state borders will not be allowed to play.

As both California and New York continue to make progress on legalizing online poker, check back here in our poker news section for updates regarding USA legal poker. Until the states figure out what they are doing and get the appropriate bills passed use any of the USA poker sites we list and recommend here on our website. All are highly reputable and offer a great online experience.

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