Tuesday February 26,2013 : NEW JERSEY LAWMAKERS APPROVE AMENDED ONLINE GAMBLING BILL
Live Update : 3pm Est, 2/26/2013 : Breaking news from New Jersey is that Gov. Christie wasted no time in signing the amended measure into state law Tuesday.
Bill goes back to Governor Chris Christie
New Jersey lawmakers in both the state Assembly and the Senate showed that they are serious about online gambling Tuesday when they approved an amended bill rushed through the Legislature to comply with Governor Chris Christie’s requirements following his February 7 conditional veto.
The measure is now back on the governor's desk, with industry observers expecting an early signature as indicated earlier by Christie.
Once signed into law the Garden State will become the third US state to legalise online gambling and/or poker after Nevada and Delaware.
Online gambling in New Jersey could be a $1.5 billion annual business in five years, Dennis Farrell, a casino analyst at Wells Fargo Securities, said in an investor note January 24.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, a joint venture between Boyd Gaming Corp. and MGM Resorts International, and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are the companies best positioned to capture online business in New Jersey, Farrell told New Jersey.com Tuesday.
The New Jersey intrastate bill will see Atlantic City land operators (and possibly internet partners) holding an advantage granted by the bill's provision that online gambling servers must be confined to AC land casinos. The bill also allows for interstate compacts with other states where internet gambling has been legalised.
State Senator Ray Lesniak, who has driven the legalization process in New Jersey over the past three or more years, said that the first online bets taken under the new law should be wagered by September this year.
“Finally, some good news for Atlantic City's future," said Lesniak. "Internet gaming will give an immediate boost to the outlook for Atlantic City's future, preventing the closing of at least one casino, and saving thousands of jobs. Now we can get to work making Atlantic City the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming by being the hub for other states to join."
The ball is now in the state gaming regulators' court as they develop an appropriate set of regulations governing the operations of online gambling in the state.