A second bill made its way to New York’s legal platforms, with the objective of turning online poker into a legal pastime within the state’s borders. The bill is exactly the same as the first bill proposed this year. Both bills seek to have poker defined as a game of skill, and make it legal to play over the internet.
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Some of the wording of the bill states that “the courts have not limited the legislature’s ability to determine that certain forms of poker should fall outside the general definition of gambling since those games are games of skill.”
Legislators are keen to tap into an online poker market that has a potential first-year value of $120 million. State Senator John Bonacic who is supporting the bill (as he did last year’s efforts to introduce legal and regulated online poker), said that there was support across the board for legal New York online poker.
“All the potential casinos, all the nine racinos, have sent us letters of support for the online poker bill,” he said this week.
New York is well aware that the gambling industry has can go a long way in contributing to state coffers, especially struggling local economies. Several years ago, four casinos were approved for operation in the upstate region. This was also done to help keep some of the $1 billion a year spent by New Yorkers on out-of-state gambling, within the state.
The proposed bills now need to pass the Assembly and Senate chambers before they reach their final destination – the Governor’s table for his signature.
Last year, an online poker bill made progress when the Senate voted in favor of 53 to 5. Unfortunately, the bill failed to pass make it through the Assembly.