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New York Senate votes in favour of poker bill

By Josh Fisher
The New York Senate has approved the online poker bill S-3898, with the bill passing by a vote of 54-8 on Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Senator John Bonacic, seeks to legalise and regulate online poker on the grounds that it’s a game of skill. It represents the second time in two consecutive years that New York senators have voted in favour of regulating online poker within state borders.

New York would tax online operators at a rate of 15% of gross gaming revenue.

The measure will now make its way through to Assembly, although future support for it still remains uncertain. Legislators and gaming operators will be well aware that the Assembly has dismissed similar poker bills in the past – namely, last year.

Senator Bonacic offered a statement after his bill was passed: “Presently, numerous New York residents are participating in illegal, unregulated and unsafe gaming operations over the Internet.”

He added: “This bill serves two main purposes in allowing New Yorkers access to regulated online poker while providing critical consumer protections and increasing revenues to the state for education and taxes via operator licenses. I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Assembly to see that this bill passes both houses before the end of session.”

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