No Online Blackjack for New Jersey…Yet

Sorry to all you New Jersey online blackjack players. Seems your governor is not inclined to allow you to play blackjack online to benefit your own state. Because that is what online blackjack would have done—New Jersey residents would have had the opportunity to play at sites that would have been partnered with the brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City, who in turn would have been able to pay the state more in taxes, which would have in turn filled in some holes in the New Jersey budget, paying for programs.

But that is not going to be happening.

At least not for a little while yet. When Governor Chris Christie vetoed the intrastate bill that would have given residents the choice to play casino games online legally, he vetoed it as a conditional veto, meaning that legislators could do some work on the bill based on notes made by Christie.

Christie’s biggest note was that the bill, as it is now, would have hit the state sanctioned monopoly that Atlantic City has on gambling. The monopoly exists because such a large portion of New Jersey’s revenue comes from Atlantic City. If gambling, online or otherwise, were to be established outside of Atlantic City, it would draw revenue from the casinos and thusly from New Jersey. As the intrastate gambling bill is right now, it would take a state constitutional referendum to keep the monopoly in place concerning online gambling.

Christie’s words on the matter: “Nothing contained in the legislation would prohibit commercial establishments…from offering Internet gambling opportunities in order to attract patrons or customers.”

At this point in time, the bill to allow New Jersey residents to play online blackjack and other online casino games is going back to legislators to see what changes can be made in order to get Christie’s signature.