Regulated online poker in New York moved one step closer to reality this week when Bill A09509 was introduced to the State Assembly by J. Gary Pretlow.
The slow process of regulating online poker in New York gained a little momentum on Monday when Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow – chair of the State Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee – introduced Bill A09509 into New York´s State Assembly.
Pretlow´s Bill is practically a mirror image of Republican Senator John Bonacic´sBill S-6913 that was introduced to the New York State Senate at the end of March, and which aims to raise $100 million in licensing fees and collect 15% tax on gross gaming revenues.
New York Still Hates Bad Actors
Similar to Bonacic´s Bill, the proposals introduced to the State Assembly include a bad actor provision to exclude
any person, company, trade name and player database that participated in unregulated online gambling after 31st December 2006.
This would not only include PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, but any unlicensed online poker providers that have been providing a service to New York, who will now be committing an offense under the proposed legislation and be liable to taxes on profits made from New York online poker players.
Compacts with other States Proposed
The wording of Bill A09509 allows for compacts to be formed with other States that have already regulated online poker, and the approval and implementation of this bill would definitely have a positive effect on neighboring New Jersey where the novelty of regulated online poker seems to have worn off.
Big declines in cash game traffic have been seen over the past few months on Bwin.party´s Borgata network and on WSOP.com, and it might take the passage of legislation in New York before liquidity increases at the tables and New Jersey´s regulated sites are able to offer tournaments with comparable prize values to those being offered by the likes of Bovada Poker, Carbon Poker and Americas Cardroom.
There are also positive noises coming out of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, which – together with Delaware – would make the North-East the center of online poker in the States. A compact with Nevada could also be a possibility, but proposed Californian legislation rules out a shared player database with the Golden State.
Don´t Move to New York Just Yet
Despite this gathering of momentum, the reality of regulated online poker in New York may still be a distant dream. Pretlow´s Bill got a reading in the Assembly before being referred to the Racing and Wagering Committee
There is no time frame indicated for when members of the Committee have to report back to the Assembly and – although he is chair of the Racing and Wagering Committee – Assemblyman Pretlow has previously expressed concerns about cheating and collusion in online poker.
Depending on much persuading Pretlow and his colleagues need to look across State lines to see how these factors can be overcome, a move to New York to play online poker could be considered more than a little premature!