Sunday February 24,2013 : MONDAY VOTE ON NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING (Update)
Legislature to decide the Garden State's online gambling future
Monday February 25 could be an historic day for online gambling in New Jersey; the state Legislature is set to vote on an amended legalization bill that now incorporates state governor Chris Christie's requirements for lifting his conditional veto on the original measure.
Last week Nevada surged ahead in the race to legalization when Governor Brian Sandoval signed an online poker bill into law, putting more pressure on New Jersey legislators to move forward and join Nevada and Delaware by legalising a pastime that is immensely popular with US players.
Christie's demands have reportedly been met in the revised bill, and amid intense political lobbying the word is that a bipartisan approval will be achieved, sending the bill back to Christie, who has promised to sign the it immediately into law if his conditions are met.
Those conditions include a 10-year trial period, a 15 percent tax rate on GGR and an increase in annual funding to fight problem gambling, from $150,000 to $250,000.
It is understood that the revised New Jersey bill does not include a "bad actor" clause like its Nevada equivalent, which excludes for five years any entity that serviced US online gamblers post-UIGEA.
Such a clause would surely complicate the affairs of Pokerstars, which has applied for state permission to take over the ailing Atlantic City land casino, Atlantic Club and could be involved if the two states were to agree of player-sharing.
The inclusion of a "bad actor" clause in the Nevada measure could, however, create problems for interstate compacts which the Silver State may attempt to achieve in the future in order to boost player liquidity for its licensees.