12/05/2012 : NEW JERSEY REVIVES WIDER ONLINE GAMBLING BILL
The Garden State wants more than just internet poker
In a surprise move Tuesday, the New Jersey House of Assembly approved the progress of an online gambling bill that includes amendments widening the scope beyond intrastate internet poker.
Bill A2578 was sponsored by State Sen. Ray Lesniak, who predicted that the revived bill (previously rejected by state governor Chris Christie in 2011) would be carried by a vote by the full Assembly on December 17, followed by a successful state Senate vote on December 20.
North Jersey,com reports that a successful vote would allow any internet version of casino games, and is not restricted to online poker.
“It’s still not too late for Atlantic City to become the Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming,” Lesniak told supporters Tuesday.
The bill has faced various obstacles which have militated against its adoption by the planned target date of March 2012; it was stalled when Senate and Assembly passed slightly different versions, and due to legislative recesses has only recently regained momentum, driven inexorably by Sen. Lesniak.
If the now harmonised bill passes both the full House of Assembly and the State Senate, Gov. Christie will again be faced with the dilemma of signing the bill into law, although this year there is a stronger drive by states to seek intrastate solutions to online gambling rather than have federal laws imposed on them.
Recent academic opinions have also provided possible solutions to the governor's claimed reservations on state constitutional grounds.
Under the bill, online gambling servers would be located on the premises of licensed land casinos in Atlantic City, offering intrastate online gambling of all types to state residents.
The state of Delaware is the only other to have passed laws allowing intrastate online gambling in the wider sense, whilst Nevada has legalization that permits online poker only on an intrastate basis