I know. Yesterday I said I would be comparing mobile blackjack apps and a bit of online blackjack. But that was before the news broke that the New Jersey House Assembly passed a bill that would regulate online gambling, specifically online poker, in New Jersey.
Once Governor Chris Christie signs the bill into law New Jersey will be the first state in the United States to regulate online gambling.
So take that, UIGEA!
The bill passed in the House Assembly with 63 members voting yes and only 11 saying no; and only 41 were needed for the bill to pass. The bill now goes to Governor Christie’s desk. Christie has been mum on the subject but he did promise, if elected, he would work to revitalize the economy in New Jersey. Being a state of tourism that relies heavily on the tax revenue from the Atlantic City casinos, Christie has been targeting those casinos and gambling as one way to boost the state’s struggling economy.
The online gambling regulation bill is one of five bills aimed at boosting the state’s revenue through Atlantic City.
Originally the Atlantic City casinos were against having online gambling regulated within the state, fearing that it would hurt their business even more than it already is. But portions of the bill have been rewritten and the Atlantic City casinos’ frowns turned into smileys.
The online gambling regulation bill, written by state Senator Lesniak, would give the Atlantic City casinos the first opportunity to, in short, create online casino versions of themselves. This way these established brick and mortar casino businesses would hopefully not be hurt by online gambling; instead the idea is for them to increase their profits, which will in turn increase the tax revenue that goes to the state, which will in turn help boost the New Jersey economy and fund state programs.
All round, as long as it works as intended, online gambling in New Jersey could turn out to be a very smart move on state lawmakers’ parts. Granted, it will take a bit of time to lay down the specific terms of their online gambling regulation and get the entire thing moving, but this is a very promising start to 2011.
And I will also hope this gives lawmakers on the federal level a swift kick in the shorts when it comes to online gambling regulation for the entire country.