New Jersey Internet Gambling Bill Goes To Assembly Today

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
New Jersey Internet Gambling Bill

A bill to legalize Internet gambling in the state of New Jersey goes before the assembly today (January 10, 2011) at 1 pm EST.

Senator Raymond Lesniak’s bill would allow New Jersey’s nearly 9 million residents to gamble online within the state’s borders.  Wagering firms would obtain licensing to offer Web gambling.

The bill was previously approved by the State Senate and would include online poker and sports betting.

Should the bill pass through the Assembly, as is widely expected, Governor Chris Christie would have to sign the legislation into law.  There are no indications that he plans to veto the bill.

New Jersey, and its gambling Mecca of Atlantic City more specifically, has been losing billions of dollars to neighboring states like Pennsylvania.

“Atlantic City needs a huge infusion of investment powers that can only come from expanding gaming opportunities throughout the state of New Jersey,” Senator Lesniak told’s Jenny Woo.  “New Jersey is losing billions of dollars in revenues to Pennsylvania, New York, and Delaware where they now have casinos, racinos and slot machines circling Atlantic City and yet the Governor is sticking his head in the sand and saying that Atlantic City is the only place where we can have gambling in the state.”

Lesniak said that federal legislation to allow online gambling would have hindered a state’s ability to collect taxes.

“We’re ready to go it alone and I think we’re going to. I actually don’t think the federal bill will ever pass but if it does I’m sure we’ll opt out and we’ll be up and operational before that ever does as well.”

Attempts to legalize Internet gambling on the federal front failed during the final weeks of 2010.  A new Republican-majority Congress will make such efforts even more difficult.

- Aaron Goldstein,

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