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New York Senator files online poker bill

| By iGB Editorial Team
Joseph Addabbo's bill will allow licensees to operate multiple skins, but includes bad actor clause 
New York February

New York Senator Joseph Addabbo has launched a new bid to legalise online poker in the state, which seeks to block any company involved in the US iGaming market after December 31, 2006.

The newly-appointed chair of the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee has filed Senate Bill 18, which aims to allow all those aged 21 and above to play poker online.

S00018 looks to issue up to 11 online poker licences, with only licensed video lottery gaming facilities and Class III (tribal) gaming licensees eligible.

Each licensee would have to pay an up-front fee fo $10m for a 10-year licence, as well as paying a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue.

Despite the cap on the number of available licences, each entity would be permitted to operate an unlimited number of skins under its licence, provided each partner is approved by the New York State Gaming Commission.

However, the legislation also contains a so-called bad actor clause, which blocks companies that offered online gaming in the US after December 31, 2006 – when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) was enacted – from participating in the market.

It goes further than simply looking to block sites involved, specifying that a company that has acquired a business active in the US after that date, or that employs an individual that worked for any such site, will also be ineligible.

S00018 has been referred to the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee for further scrutiny.

It is the second piece of gambling legislation filed by Addabbo in the past month, following S00017, which sets out a regulatory framework for land-based, online and mobile sports betting throughout the state.

It proposes a tax of 8.5% of sports betting gross revenue, as well as a royalty fee of 0.2% of each operator’s sports betting handle, to be paid to the State Gaming Commission each quarter. The state’s casinos, which would be the only entities eligible for sports betting licences, would also be restricted to using official league data for betting markets.

The US professional sports leagues would then be able to submit claims for a share of these funds by April 30 each year.

Like S00018, Addabbo’s sports betting bill has been allocated to the Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee.

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