New Jersey Online Gambling Legislation Passes

11 January 2011

It’s official! New Jersey becomes the first state to approve an online gambling bill within its state borders. The Assembly vote as well as the Senate vote was close to unanimous with votes of 63-11 and 34-2 respectively. This bill allows for online poker as well as popular casino games to be played online in New Jersey.

Supporters of the bill are excited that New Jersey will be the first state in a position to grab a piece of the online gambling market in the U.S. Decenters however are still worried that the new law will put the state on a collision course with the government if it decides they are in violation of federal law.

Democratic sponsor Sen. Raymond Lesniak gave a lot of credit to his co-sponsor Republican Sen. Joseph Kyrillos and commented that this bill, as told by the voting margin, had bi-partisan support. Lesniak also expects this bill to boost casino revenue by $100 million and would create 500 jobs within the state.
Now all it needs is a signature by Governor Chris Christie. According to Anthony Singer, CEO of High 5 games,

“We are optimistic that Gov. Chris Christie will sign this important piece of legislation into law to revive the state’s gaming industry. This law will allow our state’s gaming industry to thrive, creating more jobs and much needed tax revenue for the people of New Jersey.”

Though this is positive news for online gambling in the U.S., the impact on the industry has yet to be felt. New Jersey residents will now have easy deposit and withdrawal systems in place but will be limited to play with only other people within the state.

To what effect will this have on the big international sites like PokerStars, Fulltilt Bodog and the others that currently let U.S. online players play is still to be determined. This law may force them to pull out of New Jersey much the same way they pulled out of Washington State.

Another possible scenario is that states will partner up much like the do with the lottery systems and offer an online gambling network to all those were it is legal within the state. New Jersey should be applauded for taking the necessary steps to approve an online gambling system, now we all will have to wait and see how this changes the online gambling industry.

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