After Tuesday´s approval of online gambling legislation by New Jersey´s State Assembly, the State Senate voted in favor of Bill A2578 by a wide margin.
33 supporters of Senator Ray Lesniak´s Bill A2578 voted for the return of online gambling in New Jersey against just 3 opponents; and authorized Atlantic City casinos will now be able to offer Internet poker to residents of the Garden State – subject to Governor Chris Christie rubber-stamping the proposed legislation.
Of course, New Jersey has been here before. In 2011, Christie vetoed similar legislation due to concerns about who would be running the Internet gambling sites and where the revenue generated by online gambling would be going but, this time around, Senator Ray Lesniak is more confident of seeing his bill passed into law.
Earlier this year, Governor Christie revealed himself to be in favor in some form of legislation allowing Internet gambling – going so far as to say that New Jersey should be the “epicenter” of the online gambling business – and since his veto of the previous attempt to allow online poker in New Jersey, the US Department of Justice has revised its opinion that Internet gambling is in violation of the Wire Act.
Under New Jersey State law, Bill A2578 will pass into legislation – should the Governor fail to veto it – on 5th February 2013. Lesniak is hoping that that Christie confirms his words with actions, and puts his signature to the bill much quicker than the 45 days that is allowed, to enable the first steps to be taken in the issuing of licenses to Atlantic City casinos who wish to host online poker games.
If Christie does allow the bill to go through on this occasion, Lesniak expects the first Internet poker sites to be up and running in New Jersey within six months. He also anticipates that other States will adopt similar online gambling legislation that will allow them to join with New Jersey and create larger pools of online poker players.