Online poker has been a hot topic of discussion across the US, with several states showing interest in the industry. In New York, two bills have been proposed to legalize the activity this year, one in the Assembly and one in the Senate. The Senate bill, S3898, was proposed by Senator John Bonacic and recently earned a positive vote in the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee to now move forward to the Senate Finance Committee.

The Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, with a margin of 11 to 0. The bill will classify the game of poker as a skill and allow for the game to be legalized online as well as regulated. As many as 11 online poker licenses will be made available with a cost of $10 million each. The state would also be able to take part in interstate compacts which will be beneficial to building solid online poker traffic.

Bonacic is positive that his bill has the ability to continue to move forward. The Senator has stated that he looks forward to working with fellow lawmakers in the future, on both sides of the aisle in both houses, to ensure that his bill is considered fairly and in a timely manner.

A second bill is also under consideration in the state within the Assembly. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow has proposed A5250 which is an identical bill to Bonacic’s that would classify poker as a game of skill instead of chance.


This article has been updated to correct the number of Senate Bill S3898 (.pdf)