New York online poker bill to feature ‘bad actor’ clause

7 June 2017

A bill that could lead to the legalisation of online poker in the US state of New York has been amended to include reference to so-called ‘bad actors’.

Put forward by State Senator John Bonacic, Senate Bill S3898 has already been approved by the New York Senate Finance Committee and will soon go to a full vote at the State Senate.

However, prior to the third and final reading of the bill before the full Senate vote, it was decided to amended the bill with the addition of a bad actor clause.

The term, which has also been included in online gaming bills put forward in various other states across the US, relates to operators that were illegally active in the US after the 2006 passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

According to the Flushdraw.net website, the bill says that an operator may be considered unsuitable for a licence in New York if it has “knowingly and wilfully accepted or made available wagers on interactive gaming (including poker)” from US residents after the cut-off date of December 31, 2006.

The clause also refers to activities where companies “knowingly facilitated or otherwise provided services” to anyone that took such wagers.

In addition, the term applies only to those that have “purchased or acquired, directly or indirectly, in whole or insignificant part… a covered asset in connection with interactive gaming”.

Should the bill be passed in its current format, this could mean that PokerStars, the online poker giant that was still operational in the US after the 2006 cut-off date, may not be able to gain a licence in New York.

Related article: New York online poker bill moves to Senate