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Amaya – good news out of New York

images-4More good news for shareholders of Amaya (AYA), parent company of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and BetStars, following Monday’s announcement that CEO Baazov is preparing a buyout.

Yesterday, the State of New York passed an online poker bill out of a committee hearing for the first time since the topic of iGaming regulation was introduced in 2013. Bills have been introduced in recent years to regulate online poker in the state, but this is the first time any such legislation has progressed past its initial introduction.

A spokesperson for Senator John Bonacic, sponsor of the legislation, told Poker website Card Player that there wasn’t any discussion on the proposal Tuesday. The legislation had a robust hearing in September. Thanks to Tuesday’s vote, the bill moves to the Senate’s Finance Committee for further consideration.

Tueday’s vote marks an important positive step for the state and was welcomed by the Poker Players Alliance (PPA):  “The PPA thanks Chairman John Bonacic and the Committee for acting quickly to pass iPoker legislation through the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering,” PPA executive director John Pappas said. “If passed into law, the bill would provide New Yorkers who play poker online with a safe and regulated environment, while bringing in revenue for the state. We encourage the Finance Committee to move quickly to usher the legislation through the Senate.”

There is a companion bill in the New York Assembly that also would lead to regulated online poker. The PPA said it “also urge[s] the Assembly to move forward” with the bill.

The New York online poker market could be worth more than USD 120 million in the first 12 months after launch, according to testimony at September’s hearing. Both proposals on the table are eyeing a tax rate of 15 percent on online poker operators, who would also have to pay USD 10 million for a 10-year license. Up to 10 licenses could be awarded.

With its dominant market position with its PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker brands, Amaya would be one of the biggest winners of a legalisation.

Nordic Investor

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