New Jersey Online Gamblers Still Waiting For Governor’s Signature
Online gamblers in New Jersey are waiting patiently for Governor Chris Christie to finally sign legislation that would make the state the first in the nation to regulate online casinos. Unfortunately, these gamblers may have to wait a while longer.
The Senate and Assembly passed the legislation with no problem, but Christie is weighing whether or not he can handle the political pressure that comes along with signing such a groundbreaking bill. The governor is being pulled in both directions on the pending law.
“If Governor Christie signs the law, he would gain the support of millions of online gamblers across the US, and that would help him if he ever decided to run for a higher office,” said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz. “On the other side, Christie could lose some key supporters within his own party if he signs the legislation, so he may take as much time as needed to figure out his next political move.”
The state, meanwhile, is reeling from the loss of millions of dollars in revenue from Atlantic City casinos that have been hit hard by the economy. The AC casinos would receive a tremendous boost if they were able to offer online casino gambling in the future. If the law is created, it is estimated that hundreds of millions of dollars would be added to the state budget from tax revenue.
Lawmakers in other states are watching closely for the outcome of the New Jersey online gaming bill. If Christie decides to veto the bill, Florida would possibly be next in line to become the first state to regulate Internet gambling.
Florida legislators are discussing the possibility of allowing pari-mutuel facilities to offer online poker gambling. The lawmakers pushing the idea are hopeful the law can be created and online poker rooms be open by July. Governor Christie will be in Atlantic City on Tuesday signing other legislation that would help revamp the gaming industry in Atlantic City. While in AC, the governor may be pushed for an answer on how he will rule on the pending online gambling law.