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Legal update: New York and Kentucky introduce online gambling bills

Not even a month passed since the DOJ opinion reversal about the Wire Act, that in theory would stop the advance of the online poker legalization in the United States, and today two gambling bills, which include online poker, have been introduced in New York and Kentucky.

New York introduces A04924: online poker bill

Assemblyman Gary Pretlow introduced the bill number A04924 on February 5, 2019, to the New York Assembly. Bill A04924 is a new attempt to legalize online gambling in the state and it's very similar to A05250, another bill introduced in the New York Assembly and which didn’t pass last year. This bill goes hand-in-hand with the bill S18, introduced in the New York Senate by Joseph Addabbo in January 2019. Also in the New York Assembly, the bill A00591 was introduced by Linda Rosenthal which aims to conduct a complete demographic study of gambling in New York.

Bill A04924 includes a $10MUSD license fee for operators, a 15% tax on gross gaming revenue (GGR), but there is nothing related to "bad actor" clause, which has been common in other projects (bad actor means that any site that offered online poker before the approval of the law will have restrictions to apply for a license).

HB 175: Online poker bill introduced in Kentucky

Adam Koenig, Republican Representative, introduced the bill HB 175 in the Bluegrass State House last week, which includes measures to legalize sports betting, casino games, and online poker. Several bills have been introduced in past years, but none of them has passed; however, this year the scenario seems different as HB 175 is supported by both parties.

HB 175 is different from other bills introduced in other states, as only amends current Kentucky's laws, and it doesn't mention anything about tax rates or licensing fees; the only comment is that online sites would have the possibility of signing deals with the Kentucky Lottery Corporation (KLC) to offer their services. Kentucky is well-known for its horse race tradition, and the bill expands the services provided by the horse tracks and make them responsible for sports betting in the Commonwealth.

Where to play online poker from the USA?

According to the DOJ opinion about the Wire Act, shared liquidity is not on the table right now. Poker players from the USA are welcome to join offshore poker rooms and private reservations such as the Asian ones. Bodog Poker, BetOnline and Americas Cardroom rank among the best online poker rooms accepting players from the USA. Contact our team in order to get more information and start playing against Chinese fishes with our full money guarantee.

Conclusion

Online poker legalization is becoming more and more popular every day. Four states have legalized online poker in the US (Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada). In 2019, states like New York, Kentucky, and Michigan are looking to pass online gambling laws too.

In both cases (New York and Kentucky) and considering the last DOJ opinion about the Wire Act, even if the bills pass, no shared liquidity will be possible, and games will be available among players living in the same state.

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