04/15/2012 : NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING GOES TO SENATE VOTE MAY 31 (Update)
Lesniak now estimates internet poker action could commence as early as next fall
Local media in New Jersey is reporting that state Senators Ray Lesniak and Jim Whelan expect to see their online gambling legalization bill before the Senate for voting on May 31 this year.
The bill made it through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee earlier this month, and is running a little behind Lesniak's original ambitious predictions that it would be approved by both Legislative bodies by mid-April.
However, Lesniak appears confident that implementation can be achieved by next Fall.
Lesniak and Whelan have been carefully orchestrating the timing for the vote to take into account the holiday and other absences of state politicians and ensure the preponderance of supportive Democrats when the bill comes up for vote.
The attitude of lawmakers is likely to be influenced by the December about-face on the Department of Justice's definition of online gambling in terms of the Wire Act, according to some analysts. The Department conceded in a policy shift that the Act applies only to sports wagering.
The fast development of Nevada's online poker ambitions are also likely to persuade New Jersey politicians that it is time to push forward with internet gambling from Atlantic City casinos.
In local press interviews Lesniak has repeatedly stressed the opportunities for New Jersey to not only boost Atlantic City casino and associated state tax revenues, but also to establish itself as a premier technology and online gambling centre in a United States environment that is changing in favour of the pastime.