N.J. Takes Major Step Toward In-State Internet Wagering on A.C. Casino Games
TRENTON, N.J. — On Friday, Dec. 21, the New Jersey State Senate gave final legislative approval to a bill that would allow gamblers to bet on casino games in Atlantic City over the Internet.
“By allowing casinos to tap into the burgeoning trend of Internet wagering, we can put New Jersey at the forefront of this lucrative gaming market and give our casinos the competitive edge they need in the current economic climate,” said Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union), the bill’s leading sponsor, in a statement.
Under the bill, licensed casino operators or their Internet gambling affiliates would be able to set up and operate Internet wagering, allowing state residents to place bets on casino games without being on the casino floor. The servers would be located in Atlantic City and the casino would have to verify players are physically present in the state to comply with federal law.
The bill would allow Internet gambling on the same kind of games already available on gaming floors. An identical bill passed the Assembly on Monday, Dec. 17, by a 48-24-4 vote. The N.J. Senate passed it 33-3, sending it to the desk of Gov. Chris Christie for final approval.
Last year Lesniak introduced a bill designed to allow intra-state Internet gaming in New Jersey. Christie opposed and vetoed that bill, believing it violated the state constitution that only allows gaming in Atlantic City.
In March 2011, Christie released a statement saying he vetoed the bill due to “both the inconsistency with his administration’s commitment to revitalizing the gaming and tourism industries in Atlantic City and legal concerns with the legislation … legislation as it relates to the administration’s stated policy objectives and the New Jersey State Constitution, including potential allowance of gambling outside of Atlantic City’s borders and the continuation of a public subsidy for horse racing, respectively.”