New Jersey Governor Vetoes Online Gambling Bill for second Time

New Jersey Governor Vetoes Online Gambling Bill for second TimeIn 2011 the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill to allow online gambling in the state but at the very last minute it was vetoed by the governor, Chris Christie. (See article: New Jersey Senate Committee passes online gambling bill). There were several concerns at the time including that horse racing in the state would be affected by the passing of the bill, also there were questions around under age gambling and the protection of vulnerable people.
It was decided that online gambling would be based in Atlantic City only. Senator Ray Lesniak who sponsored the original bill incorporated many changes. However, this time the bill was vetoed by Governor Christie for other reasons but the senator believes these can be overcome and that the bill may be accepted by the State Assembly in February and by the Senate next month.
In 2012 Pennsylvania took New Jersey’s place behind Nevada as the second biggest gambling market in the United States. There was an 8 per cent decrease in casino income in Atlantic City last year. There is a view that the regulation of online gambling may be the only and possibly the last opportunity to improve the situation for the land based casinos in Atlantic City. The original effort to revive the fortunes of Atlantic City was in 1976 when gambling in casinos was permitted for the first time but was limited to Atlantic City where the Resorts International Casino was the first casino to open there in 1978.The governor has stated his wish to see New Jersey lead the way and become one of the first states to allow online gaming. He vetoed the latest version of the bill but has indicated that he would sign it if certain changes were made. These changes include increasing the tax on the online winnings to 15 per cent, up from the proposed 10 per cent. He also wants more to be spent on gambling addiction programmes.


The main change is a trial period of the new legislation over a ten year period to assess its effect on the Atlantic City casinos’ revenue. So if these changes are incorporated into the new bill, New Jersey could join Nevada and Delaware as the first states to permit online gambling within their borders.

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