New York Mulls New Online Poker Bill

The New York Committee on Racing and Wagering will consider a new online poker bill proposed by Representative Gary Pretlow. Bill A04924 wants to legalize online poker in the Empire State and classify poker as a game of skill and not luck. 

Under the new proposal, the New York State Gaming Commission will launch a licensing process. Operators that hold a license to offer video lottery gaming will be invited to apply for an online poker license. Licensed operators will also be allowed to form partnerships with other companies to offer online poker. The Commission will also consider operators that hold a Class III gaming license in New York.

The price tag for such a license doesn’t come cheap. Operators will need to pay a $10 million fee, although this is a one-off fee that is valid for ten years.

Gross revenues will be slapped with a 15% tax rate, which will be paid directly to the New York State Lottery Fund.  Licensees will need to take the relevant steps to keep players safe and secure via a tight verification system to keep children and the vulnerable from playing online, as well as geo-location technology to keep online poker sessions within the state’s boundaries.

Licenses will be issued within 180 days of the bill becomes law.

In the meantime, New York is pushing the question of legal sports betting in the state. At the end of last month, the state Gaming Commission approved regulations that would allow the four commercial casinos to obtain sports betting licenses.

The six-man commission noted several restrictions: 

  • Sportsbooks must be at least 500 square feet in size.
  • No online betting allowed.
  • Everyone directly involved in sportsbook offering needs to be licensed by the Gaming Commission.
  • Operators may apply for certification for as long as they hold a casino license.
  • Casinos may partner with vendors to operate the sportsbook.

The following partnerships have already been signed:

  • Empire Resorts Resorts World Catskills } paired with Bet365
  • Del Lago Resort and Casino } paired with DraftKings
  • Tioga Downs } paired with Paddy Power Betfair’s FanDuel
  • River Casino  & Resort Schenectady } paired with Rush Street Interactive
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