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New York Online Poker Bill Passes First Senate Committee by Unanimous Vote

When New York State Senator John Bonacic once again introduced a bill to legalize and regulate online poker in the state in late January, it was expected that it would get through the Senate’s Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering fairly quickly. That expectation was correct. On Tuesday, Bonacic’s bill, S 3898, passed by a unanimous 11-0 vote and has now been advanced to the Senate Finance Committee. The purpose of the bill, as stated on the bill’s webpage on the New York State Senate website, is quite simple: To authorize the New York State Gaming Commission to license certain entities to offer for play to the public certain variants of internet poker which require a significant degree of skill, specifically “Omaha Hold’em” and “Texas Hold’em.” It also “….includes definitions, authorization, required safeguards and minimum standards, the scope of licensing review and state tax implications; makes corresponding penal law amendments.”

Virginia Poker Bill Passes Senate Committee, Full Senate Vote Coming

Facing increased competition from surrounding states, the Commonwealth of Virginia appears to be slowly making its way toward legalizing at least some sort of brick-and-mortar gambling. On Monday, a bill which would legalize poker and authorize the regulation of poker tournaments passed through committee. The bill will likely be voted upon this week. The bill, S 1400, was introduced by Senator Louise Lucas about two weeks ago. Its first order of business it to legalize poker by declaring it a game of skill. Currently, the state law is a bit murky in this area: “Illegal gambling” means the making, placing or receipt of any bet or wager in the Commonwealth of money or other thing of value, made in exchange for a chance to win a prize, stake or other consideration or thing of value, dependent upon the result of any game, contest or any other event the outcome of

Women in Poker Hall of Fame Offering Public Vote in Selecting Next Members

The Women in Poker Hall of Fame is set to induct a new class of members to their rolls this fall. In the past, they have traditionally kept their voting “in the house,” meaning that a select committee and the past inductees were the only ones who were voting on new members. For the 2016 class, however, the WiPHoF has decided to offer the poker public a voice in the matter. First, here’s a list of the potential inductees and a quick word as to their qualifications: Debbie Burkhead – Longtime player, reporter, photographer and instructor, involvement with poker since the mid-90s. Karina Jett – Outstanding tournament and cash game history, advocate for women in the game since the late 1990s. Victoria Coren-Mitchell – The only two-time champion in the history of the European Poker Tour, longtime veteran of the toughest cash games in Europe. Mandy Glogow – Television producer

Pennsylvania House Online Gambling Vote Delayed

The poker community was anticipating a vote on the legalization of online gambling in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives last week, but it never came and looks like it will be delayed for several more days at the very least. House Bill 649, introduced by Gaming Oversight Committee Chairman Rep. John Payne (R – Dauphin) early this year, passed through his committee by an 18 to 8 vote in November. With the fairly easy passage of the bill in committee, it looked like there was an excellent change it would succeed when put to a vote in front of the entire House. The vote was slated for last Wednesday, but was pushed to Thursday after some debate and discussion of amendments. But with state lawmakers unable to come to agreements on the months-late state budget, the HB 649 vote was put on the backburner. The budget talks are a total

Pennsylvania House to Vote on Online Gambling Bill Thursday

It looks like Thursday will be the day that we find out if a future for online poker is still alive in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Today was supposed to see a vote on HB 649, a bill which would legalize and regulate online gambling, but the vote was pushed to tomorrow, as lawmakers in the House of Representatives debated amendments on Wednesday. HB 649 passed through the House Gaming Oversight Committee in mid-November by an 18 to 8 vote, setting it up for the current vote on the main floor of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. The bill would allow the twelve casinos in the state to offer intrastate online gambling (only to customers present within Pennsylvania’s borders) and would also give overseas operators an “in” by permitting them to partner with the casinos. Most of the casinos who decide to get into online gambling (should the bill eventually