Online Poker Legislation Looks Promising in NV and NJ … Stalls Elsewhere

by Lou on March 13, 2012

Seton Hall University law professor John Wefing told a New Jersey assembly panel he doesn’t believe voters need to approve internet gambling in order to make it legal. Wefing said that existing law, in the form of a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1976 that legalized casino gambling in Atlantic City, gives the legislature and the governor the power to decide which forms of gambling are OK.

“It is permissible to expand gambling in Atlantic City if the gambling is actually taking place in Atlantic City,” Wefing testified.  His testimony answers whether having the computer servers in Atlantic City satisfies state law requiring that all casino gambling take place in Atlantic City.

While the news in New Jersey is encouraging, Mississippi’s online gaming proposal died in committee this past Tuesday, and the Mississippi Gaming Commission will have to adopt rules before a bill could be passed and enacted.

In other states, Iowa has legislation pending, although with 70 percent of its residents against it, things don’t look too promising there.

California is active in pursuing online poker, although with some of the Native American tribes in support of it while other oppose it, passage appears to be a long shot in the Golden State.

With no federal legislation expected in 2012, Nevada is far ahead of any competition to become the first real-money site. They’ve already adopted rules for intrastate gaming, and some of the world’s biggest internet poker companies are lining up for approval to do business in the Silver State.  Even so, it’s still anyone’s guess as to when exactly Nevada will have a real-money site up and running.

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