New Jersey’s Intrastate Online Gaming Bill Goes to the Governor’s Desk

by Lou on January 11, 2011

Both chambers of the New Jersey legislature passed legislation that would legalize internet gaming in the state, making New Jersey the first to implement regulated and licensed intrastate gaming, pending approval from Governor Chris Christie.

“The bill had bipartisan support,” said state senator Raymond Lesniak, who introduced the legislation a year ago.   Lesniak’s bill won approval whenever it was put to a vote and was approved by margins of 3-1, 10-1, 5-0, and 7-0 in four different committees.

The bill passed by a 29-5 margin in the state senate last November, but was subsequently amended to meet World Trade Organization requirements.  Once amended, the general assembly quickly approved it by a 63-11 vote.  A few hours later the state senate passed it by a 35-2 margin.

Governor Christie has 45 days to sign it into law, return the bill to the legislature for changes, or veto it. If no action is taken by the governor, the bill automatically becomes law in 45 days. If he were to veto the bill, the legislature can override it with a two-thirds vote, and given this bill’s strong legislative support, an override looks quite possible.

“This is a historic day for New Jersey,” said Anthony Singer, president and CEO of High 5 Games, the parent company of NJ Gaming News. “With the state legislature’s decision to legalize internet gaming, New Jersey now becomes the center of the US iGaming industry.”

Although Governor Christie hasn’t taken a stance on this bill, he has made the economic health of Atlantic City a priority, and the smart money says he’ll support the bill, which would take effect July 4, 2011.

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