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New York Online Poker Bill Moves To Senate Floor

Stage Being Set For A Real Run At I-Poker Next Year

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It’s still drawing slim for this year, but a bill on the table to legalize and regulate online poker in the state of New York has advanced to consideration by the full Senate, after passing out of another committee this week.

The Empire State’s Senate Finance Committee had the bill since early February. It was amended in mid-May and is now on the Senate floor calendar, though it’s not clear if or when it will be voted on. The legislation passed out of the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee earlier this year. A robust committee hearing on the measure happened last fall.

There’s companion legislation in the Assembly, but it hasn’t made as much progress over there. Lawmakers are still hoping to get more of the state’s brick-and-mortar gambling operators behind the plan, which is poker-only and doesn’t include other casino games.

Right now, New York is eyeing a 15-percent tax rate on online poker revenue, in addition to a $10 million licensing fee. The market is estimated to be worth $120 million after year one.

Empire State lawmakers are also considering DFS legislation, which is much more likely to be adopted first. The state is also home to new casino construction, which was allowed to help keep an estimated $1 billion that New York residents spend at casinos in nearby states each year from leaving. In other words, state gaming officials are pretty busy and online poker will likely have better chances next year. The state indicated several years ago that it’s interested in I-poker.