New York Assembly Online Poker Bill Introduced

John Mehaffey May 6, 2014 1378 Reads

A New York State Assembly online poker bill was introduced by Rep. J. Gary Pretlow, as first reported by Gambling, as first reported by Scott Van Voorhis of Gamblingcompliance.com.  The bill mirrors Senate Bill 6913 and is its Assembly companion bill.  It has been referred to the Committee on Racing and Wagering.

The bill starts with a focus on how poker is a game of skill.  It notes a New York Federal Court ruling in U.S. v. DiCristina.  The bill states that the court “assessed that under federal law poker was predominantly a game of skill”.  The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals later overturned the ruling.  It also acknowledges that “the courts have not limited the legislature’s ability to determine that certain forms of poker should fall outside the general definition of gambling since those games are games of skill”.

Virtually all of language of the bill is taken word for word from S 6913.  Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and similar games would be permitted.  A bad actor clause with a date of December 31, 2006 is included.  It would exclude any person, company, trade name and player database from New York regulated online poker that participated in unregulated online gambling after that date.

The tax rate would be 15 percent with a $10 million licensing fee.  Unlicensed online poker providers would be committing a gambling offense under this bill and also be liable for any taxes owed on the action accepted from New York players.

The language of the bill may be found here.

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