It seems we are on the verge of seeing online Poker going legal in New York. The Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering has unanimously approved (11-0 votes) the bill to legalize Poker. The bill was tabled by Senator John Bonaciclast month. It is now in front of the Senate Finance Committee. The bill’s premise is simple: it proves that Poker is a game of skill, and involves complexity. Poker players have to use their skills and logic to make their moves during the game. Like any other game, Poker also has winners and losers, and winners are rewarded with money for their skill and logic in this case.

Senator John Bonacic

Senate Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Poker

The bill to legalize Poker in New York specifically suggested two famous forms of Poker:  Omaha Hold’em and Texas Hold’em.

The bill seeks permission from the State to allow interstate Poker games so that players can form pools and teams. It also proposes a 15% tax on the over revenue that will be generated by legal Poker. The bill also talks about licensed operators model, according to which players who want to play online poker will get signed up with verified operators. Every operator will have a registered Poker website where players will play Poker. Starting a Poker website without authorization will be a crime, liable for closure and fines.

If New York legalizes Poker, it will be a huge development, as Poker players from the states where Poker is legal, like Nevada and Delaware, will be able to form pools, which will result in more gaming activity and revenue. New York’s population is over 20 million. According to an estimate, it can generate over $120 million a year from Poker every year. New Jersey’s internet poker market has a total worth of $26.5 million, as of the end of 2016. Senator John Bonacic  says that almost all of the mainstream casinos and Poker entities have sent letters to him to ramp up the efforts to legalize Poker in New York.

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It is important to note that the New York Senate passed a bill to legalize online Poker last year, but the proposal was shot down by the State Assembly. A bill has to go through Senate and Assembly of a State before becoming a law.


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