The legalization of online gambling has been an ongoing debate in the United States for years and has escalated recently to receive attention from members of congress, the senate, and local state governments. While the federal government has not moved forward with any action yet to legalize online gambling nationwide, individual states are looking into the prospect, most recently New Jersey.
The NJ Senate decided with a 29-5 vote last week to allow Atlantic City Casino owners to offer online gambling to New Jersey residents. The bill has since been amended to also allow residents of other countries to participate as well.
New Jersey if the first state to take this type of action, and they could be looking at hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state, as well as some new jobs to boot. Sen. Raymond Lesniak has included strict regulation, taxation, and consumer protection measures for the industry, and believes that the state of New Jersey is very capable of effectively and safely managing online gambling.
One of the important points to the bill is that only licensed casino owners may provide online gambling options for NJ residents and that the source of the gambling opportunities must be located in Atlantic City. Residents of other states would not be permitted to participate in online gambling in NJ.
The NJ Senate feels confident that Governor Christie will sign the bill into law, and perhaps by the end of the year. While there will be a delay to actually introducing online gambling until the appropriate regulatory measures can be put into place, Sen. Raymond Lesniak is confident that with NJ’s experience with gambling in Atlantic City, it will be a rather expedited process.
Avid online gambling enthusiasts throughout the country are very encouraged by NJ’s move to legalize online gambling and have their fingers crossed that this is just the first of many moves to legalize the industry for all residents of the USA. We will stay tuned to see how Gov. Christie responds to the legislation if he signs it into law, and what the overall response of NJ residents is to the bill. Being that gambling is nothing new to NJ, we don’t expect a negative response, but it will be interesting to see how public opinion develops.