New Jersey will be the first state in the United States to approve online poker if the Senate passes the bill known as A2578 on Thursday and sends the legislation right back to the desk of Gov. Christ Christie where the legislation is signed into law.
The legislation was vetoed in early 2011. But with a run at PokerStars stepping back into the United States market, the heat is on!
The State Assembly passed New Jersey's Internet gambling bill by a vote of 48-24-4 on Monday, December 17th, 2012. The bill's leading sponsor, State Sen. Ray Lesniak, has promised that the Senate will follow suit on Thursday.
“We're all teed up and ready to get approval in the senate Thursday,” Lesniak said in a phone interview. “It will be voted on and it will pass for sure.”
News broke recently that federal efforts weren't even on the horizon for putting an online poker bill out there this year and New Jersey has every interest in becoming the focus for anyone looking for the online poker boom again. PokerStars stepped neatly into the slide show only to instantly pop to number one and freezing the frame when news hit that PokerStars was working on purchasing a struggling Atlantic City casino.
Lesniak feels Atlantic city should welcome an investment from the world's biggest poker site and the move was made with that in mind. New Jersey can now step up the gambling platform and authorize all casino games that are currently offered in the Atlantic City casinos since the Reid-Kyl proposal that failed to come to fruitition was drawn to only allow online poker.
“We must position New Jersey's gaming industry to thrive in the 21st Century, and that involves authorizing a legally sound Internet gaming law,” Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who sponsored the bill, said in a press release. “This is another key piece of our effort to boost New Jersey's gaming industry by expanding and modernizing our wagering options. This will rejuvenate our tourist industry while increasing employment, capital investment and much needed urban development.”
Lesniak is hoping to capture the online gambling industry in as many states as possible to allow the Garden State to provide services and build a bigger player pool all states. Delaware and Nevada have already approved online poker but they are still working on it.
Assemblyman Vincent Prieto said in the release “Most everything else has migrated to the Internet and taken advantage of the consumer and revenue options it offers, and New Jersey should be no different.”
Is it all over but the shouting when Christie finds the bill on his desk? Check back.
Information for this article gathered from PokerNews.com.