New Yorkers Rejoice: Bill to Legalize Online Casinos Proposed by Senator

New Yorkers Rejoice: Bill to Legalize Online Casinos Proposed by Senator
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By Sunil Singh

Bill S4856 was introduced by Senator Joseph P Addabbo to legalize online gaming in the Empire State. This bill includes a new article (article 15) which seeks to modify New York’s racing, pari-mutuel wagering and breeding law.

The proposed bill outlines the legalization of online slots, table and live dealer games. This would allow existing and new operators to provide customers some of the hottest no deposit bonuses. Additionally, for novice gamblers or players seeking to change providers, successful industry leaders like NoDepositExplorer offer a collection of popular brands.

The legalization of poker is not included in the mentioned bill because another bill, introduced by Assemblyman J. Gary Pretlow in January, already seeks to regulate the vertical by reclassifying poker as a game of skill. The bill introduced by Pretlow brings forward the argument that poker is a type of contest that pits the skill levels of the players against each other. This is why the New York courts have classified it as a game of skill rather than chance.

Qualifying Entities For Online Gaming License

The proposed bill, Bill S4856 outlines the criteria for obtaining an online gaming license, which would be available to four types of entities, namely: destination resort casinos, racetracks, Indian tribes with gaming compacts, and operators with existing online sports betting licenses. 

Additionally, the bill would grant three interactive licenses to minority-owned businesses, with the condition that each licensee can only offer interactive gaming to one platform provider. The license fee is set at $2 million, but would increase to $10 million if the entity plans to use an existing platform provider's branding. The license term would be for 10 years.

If the bill is approved, New York would become the seventh state in the US to legalize online gambling. 

The state launched legal sports betting in January 2022 and reported record revenue of $1.79bn last month, setting a new record.

Criteria to Granting Licenses

According to the bill, the New York State Gaming Commission would not be allowed to grant licenses to organizations or associated entities that engage in illegal gambling activities in markets where it is illegal. Additionally, a tax of 30.5% on gross gaming revenue (GGR) would be imposed, with the funds deposited into the state lottery fund for educational assistance purposes. 

Furthermore, the state would distribute $11 million from this fund annually for responsible gaming education and treatment programs. Such programs are needed more than ever, as we continue to witness the harmful effects of gambling on those who simply cannot control their compulsion. 

Luckily, the casino gambling industry is not solely moving forward in terms of technology and game selection but also in terms of standards and available measures for those who tend to gamble beyond their means. Not only are gamblers provided with pre-commitment tools such as loss limits, bet limits, deposit limits, and play limits, but there is also the option for them to self-exclude by opting for a self-exclusion feature that denies them access to irresponsibly gamble their money away.