Tuesday February 12,2013 : NEW JERSEY LAWMAKERS GET TO WORK ON GOVERNOR'S ONLINE GAMBLING DEMANDS (Update)
Senate and Assembly leaders say vote scheduled for February 26
State politicians in New Jersey are wasting no time in complying with their governor's conditional veto on internet gambling legalization they passed last year, quickly moving this week to include Gov. Christie's relatively minor amendments.
Both Senate and Assembly leaders have confirmed that work on the returned bill is forging ahead, and that a new vote has been rescheduled for February 26.
If all goes to plan, the legalization could be back on the governor's desk shortly after the vote, and this time he will have little option but to sign the amended bill into state law, allowing New Jersey to join Nevada and Delaware as the first states to legalise online gambling in America.
The main changes the governor has requested are that online gambling be reviewed after a trial period operated by Atlantic City casinos of 10 years, and that the Legislature's proposed tax rate of 10 percent be increased to 15 percent – higher than that levied on land casinos.
On Monday Democratic Party leaders in the state Legislature said they will support Gov. Christie’s recommended changes, all but guaranteeing the measure will become law.
“Internet gaming will be a crucial boost to Atlantic City as we continue our efforts to revitalize the area,” Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) said in a statement. “The economic benefits to the region will mean additional revenue, additional jobs, and additional growth. It cannot be stressed enough how important it was that New Jersey be ahead of the curve on Internet gaming.”