New York Online Poker Bill Sails Through First Senate Committee

Perhaps the third time is a charm? For the third year in a row, a bill which would legalize and regulate online poker in New York has passed a vote of the state Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. The bill, S3898, is now in the Senate Finance Committee.

The bill is about three weeks ahead of its 2017 schedule, which saw it sent to the Finance Committee on Valentine’s Day. Nothing happened from there until May, but the bill did hit a significant milestone in mid-June, when it passed a full Senate vote. It was the then referred to the state Assembly, but it saw no activity and died. The bill was returned to the Senate at the start of this year and now we are at this point.

Hopefully, the bill moves quickly through the Senate, since it had already advanced out of it last year. There is reason to be hopeful, as New York has expanded forms of online gambling recently, passing both a bill that legalized daily fantasy sports and a bill that permits charitable lottery sales online. Certainly, legalizing online poker/gambling would be a more sizeable step, but there are signs that lawmakers are amenable to the idea.

The one unfortunate thing about S3898 is that just before the Senate passed the bill last year, a “bad actor” clause was added:

    (f) Whether the applicant:

    (i) has at any time, either directly, or through another person whom it owned, in whole or in significant part, or controlled:

    (A) knowingly and willfully accepted or made available wagers on interactive gaming (including poker) from persons located in the United States after December thirty-first, two thousand six, unless such wagers were affirmatively authorized by law of the United States or of each state in which persons making such wagers were located; or

    (B) knowingly facilitated or otherwise provided services with respect to interactive gaming (including poker) involving persons located in the United States for a person described in clause (A) of this subparagraph and acted with knowledge of the fact that such wagers or interactive gaming involved persons located in the United States; or

    (ii) has purchased or acquired, directly or indirectly, in whole or in significant part, a person described in subparagraph (i) of this paragraph or will use that person or a covered asset in connection with interactive gaming licensed pursuant to this article.

The goal of bad actor clauses is to punish online gambling operators (and mainly foreign ones) who continued to accept U.S. customers after the UIGEA was passed in 2006. This has been one of the most contentious issues in the year-after-year online gambling battle in California. The Native American tribes in the Golden State hold a lot of clout and want as big of a piece of the online gambling pie as possible; they do not want a site like PokerStars to be able to launch an online poker room in the state.

On the bright side, it seems that “bad actors” aren’t automatically barred from the New York online poker market. The bill’s language appears to simply say that their activities post-UIGEA should be considered with their application.

Share
Guest Author

GamblingSites.org is happy to bring you this post courtesy of one of our special guest authors.

Recent Posts

California is Picking Up Speed in Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting

It seems the state of California is picking up steam where legalized sports betting is concerned as two lawmakers make…

June 2, 2020

Sports Betting Bill Gets Approval From Ohio House Committee

In a big move towards legalizing sports betting for the state of Ohio, the House Committee has gone ahead and…

May 30, 2020

The Launch of D.C. Lottery’s Sports Betting Could Be Just Days Away

As we approach the end of the month it looks like the D.C. Lottery may be gearing up to make…

May 29, 2020

Legalized Sports Betting Takes Another Step Forward in Louisiana

The odds of Louisiana legalizing sports betting just got a lot better as both chambers of the Legislature decided that…

May 27, 2020

NASCAR Is Thinking Global with Its New International Sports Betting Deal

While there are several sports leagues trying to lobby for legalized sports betting in various states, it looks like NASCAR…

May 26, 2020

Odds Improve for Legal Sports Betting In Louisiana

The effort to legalize sports betting passed the Senate and is now on its way to the House where it…

May 21, 2020