A New York i-poker bill finally moves forward

By David Cook
A bill that would regulate online poker in New York has been unanimously passed by a Senate committee, making the bill the first to be approved at a state committee hearing.

S5302B received nine votes in favour and zero votes against from the Senate Standing Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering.

Senator John Bonacic, chairman of the committee and sponsor of the bill, attempted to regulate online poker in each of the last two years and S5302B was reintroduced to the Senate in January.

It is not the only effort currently attempting to push for legal online poker in the state, as Assemblyman Gary Pretlow introduced A9049 in January, following a previous attempt to push the issue forward in 2014 when introducing a companion bill alongside Bonacic.

The bill has been referred to the Finance Committee.

New York is positioned as one of the more likely US states to become the fourth to regulate online gambling.

Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are currently the only states where wagering over the internet is legal and California and Pennsylvania are the only other US states where the issue has seen any kind of recent success.

California’s online poker bill AB 431 passed two committee votes last year before progress stalled, while another online poker bill, AB 167, was removed from a Governmental Organization Committee hearing in January.

Pennsylvania’s HB 649 online gambling bill was passed by the Pennsylvania House Gaming Oversight Committee in November and i-gaming was reportedly included in a House budget bill in December.

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