NEW JERSEY – A STEP CLOSER TO INTERNET GAMBLING LEGALISATION
Legislation setting the stage for legalised online gambling passes state Senate committee
A bill that could bring up to $350 million a year into New Jersey state coffers by legalising internet gambling in the state has advanced further, passing through the Senate Budget Committee Monday.
The bill offers the further advantage of replacing a $30-million annual subsidy currently given by land casinos in Atlantic City to state horse racing facilities on the theory that revenues from legalised online gambling would provide a substitute.
The proposal considers allowing not only home use of the internet for gambling, but also the setting up of internet gambling facilities in land casinos and at racetracks.
Although the proposal has a way to go yet and will be further debated, it will make New Jersey the first state in the U.S. to legalise online casino games if it is passed.
One of the prime movers of the bill, Sen. Ray Lesniak (see previous InfoPowa reports) claims that a new and more enlightened approach to internet gambling could bring up to $350 million a year into state coffers through taxation.
North Jersey.com reports that state governor Christie is not philosophically opposed to the bill, but that his attorneys were still reviewing whether it would be legal for the state to proceed.
State Sen. Jeff Van Drew called the amended bill “a good compromise” that could eliminate the horse racing industry’s purse woes while also boosting Atlantic City.