Finally, on January 10, 2011, a gambling online bill was passed by the New Jersey Assembly. The bill is known as A-2570. A different bill, S-490 was approved by the same Assembly in late December 2010. The two were supposed to be passed together but there were amendments that needed to be ratified. The vote was then postponed until January 6, 2011. Again, there were additional problems so there was another delay until January 10, 2011. The delays and problems seem quite trivial right now in light of the celebration of this major landmark that has been achieved.
This is how it came down: the biggest majority of voters cut across the party lines but the Assembly did vote in favor of the bill. There were 63 votes in favor of the bill and only 11 votes against it. They were three votes shy because three legislators opted not to vote. The only thing left is for New Jersey’s Republican Governor, Chris Christie to sign on the dotted line. Once the ink dries, New Jersey will be the very first state to offer legalized online gambling in the United States. If Christie were to elect not to sign his name then there is a 45 day statutory period and the bill becomes law anyways.
So, it is possible that the governor could refuse to sign but the bill has received bipartisan support in the Assembly. That fact would make it nearly impossible for the governor to opt out of signing. If he were to go that route, he would have to come up with some really good and valid reasons considering that the new bill will bring forth 500 new and high tech jobs. This would be hard to ignore in this troubling economy.
Senator Raymond Lesniak is who has sponsored this online gambling bill in New Jersey. The bill allows licensed operators to offer online poker and online casino games. This venue will include such game choices as include roulette, baccarat, blackjack, craps, big six wheel, slot machines, red dog, pai gow poker and sic bo.
Further, the bill also states that those who wish to offer these gambling services would be issued to licensed Atlantic City land casino operators. In addition, those offering these services and other businesses that offer the online gambling would have to be placed in a secure Atlantic City location. Ironically, this bill came right on time with the release of Atlantic City land casino statistics for 2010, which state that gambling revenues fell a drastic 9.6% after a 13% fall the year before. Most agree that the Atlantic City land casinos can bring their numbers up by also offering online gambling.