Friday January 17 ,2014: LESNIAK TAKES ANOTHER RUN AT INTERNATIONALISING NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING
Bill to license foreign online gambling reintroduced.
The indefatigable Senator Ray Lesniak of New Jersey has started 2014 in typical style, reintroducing a controversial new bill to the state Legislature which proposes the licensing and regulation of online gambling operators who provide services restricted to foreign internet punters.
Lesniak's intent is to create an environment which will carve out a niche for the Garden State as an international regulatory hub, creating tax revenues and jobs in the process.
Lesniak's bill has undergone some changes since it was first published last year . It still insists that licensees have servers in the state of New Jersey and keep all records of their business present and open to the state's regulators.
Operators will also have to comply with the strict licensing requirements of the New Jersey regulator, which impose stringent player protection, information and safety measures on operators.
Importantly – for now at least as the state's legal fight for the right to offer sports betting continues – sports betting is excluded, leaving both online casino and poker open to licensing.
Lesniak has proposed a taxation regime of 15 percent on foreign gaming revenues, along with a 2.5 percent contribution from licensees to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. He has also proposed a tax credit scheme in relation to the operators' foreign tax obligations, enabling them to offset some of these against New Jersey tax levies.
In the past Lesniak has argued that, provided the licensees restrict their operations to players outside the United States and segregate them from US player pools, there is no barrier to them being licensed by, and operating from, New Jersey.