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.

Breaking Online Gambling News Worth Interrupting Myself Over!

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.

More Blackjack for Pennsylvania

On Thursday of last week three brick and mortar casinos in western Pennsylvania opened the blackjack tables, drawing patrons away from the long haul drive to Atlantic City to enjoy some blackjack.

Unfortunately for Atlantic City the run of Pennsylvania casinos is not at an end yet. This past Tuesday, July 13th, saw the opening of blackjack tables in three eastern Pennsylvania casinos.

Blackjack players all over Pennsylvania are very excited with the addition of their favorite casino game in six casinos. This follows months of back and forth political arguments earlier this year about whether or not the State would allow table games like blackjack, roulette and craps to be added to their game offerings. But the demand was there and the income to the State in gaming taxes was needed. Everyone wins. Well, except for Atlantic City.

For decades Atlantic City was the mecca of East Coast gambling in the United States. But with the down turn in the economy and a lack of funds trickling down the government hill, states began looking at other ways to bring in money.

Pennsylvania is not the only state to look to gambling. Florida recently settled a long standing dispute with the Seminole tribe about blackjack there. Florida will be making $1.5 billion over the next five years from their deal with the Seminoles.

But with the addition of blackjack to the casino games at the Rivers, Meadows and Presque Isle Downs casinos in western Pennsylvania and the Mohegan Sun, Mount Airy and Hollywood casinos in eastern Pennsylvania could spell even more trouble for Atlantic City.

Not only will the time-honored East Coast gambling destination be competing with these six improved casinos next door, they might also be competing against online gambling. New Jersey is looking at legalizing online gambling for New Jersey residents that would make the competition even greater for Atlantic City.

While Pennsylvania blackjack players are quite happy with the new table games in six of their casinos, we shall have to see how Atlantic City fares over the next few years. Will it be able to keep itself afloat or will it sink in the ocean that is the gambling industry.

Will New Jersey have Online Blackjack?

Even if the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) now in effect California and Florida have been looking into making online gambling legal within their states for state residents. They are looking into it mostly as another source of income, which is much needed.

But while California has been going round and round in talks with tribes in their state, and Florida has been going back and forth with the Seminoles, New Jersey has snuck in under the radar.

On Thursday a bill, proposed by Senator Ray Lesniak, that would regulate online gambling within the state for New Jersey residents passed a committee vote 3-1. With the bill passed it can now go to the entire Senate for discussion and hopefully a vote that will allow for online gambling in New Jersey.

The way the bill works is to allow licensed casinos the ability to create sites online that allow for gambling online. Casinos must be licensed because without that license, according to federal law, they would not be allowed to offer online gambling. But since casinos in Atlantic City are licensed…well, you see where I am going with this.

Should this bill be passed into law, New Jersey would be the first state in the U.S. to have regulated online gambling. It is estimated that this could bring in $45 to $55 million in revenue. It could also give new life to the casinos in Atlantic City who have been struggling along the last couple of years. These casinos could be looking at around $250 million in new revenue by having regulated online gambling from their casinos.

As for the residents of New Jersey, they would be the first U.S. citizens to legally be allowed to gamble online. This means that online blackjack could very well be a reality for fans of blackjack in New Jersey.

New Jersey Might Be First State to Regulate Online Gambling

New Jersey is one of the leading regulators of the brick and mortar casino industry. So it isn’t any surprise that those in the U.S. are eyeing them as the potential first to regulate online gambling for their state.

In fact, there are two bills in the state’s Senate and Assembly. And they both have bipartisan support too.

What these two bills are aiming to do is allow brick and mortar casinos the chance to apply for licenses to operate some online gambling services, which are to include online blackjack.

The way the bills are structured is that brick and mortar casinos that would like to add online gambling services to their casinos games would have to pay a $200,000 licensing fee for the first year. This would be followed by $100,000 renewal fee every year thereafter, as well as having the profits from online gambling games taxed 20%.

There are those that are opposed to these bills, saying that by legalizing and regulating online gambling within New Jersey the amount of people addicted to gambling will increase. However, to address these concerns, the two bills also have in them that $100,000 each year will be put into programs to prevent gambling addictions and to help those with gambling addictions.

You have to love a bill that wants to legalize online gambling and is still concerning itself with gambling addiction.

Recently California tried to put through a bill that would legalize online gambling in their state, but was met with opposition from tribes in the state. The bill never passed.

New Jersey has a more favorable chance of getting their bills passed because they don’t have any tribes within their state that are recognized by the federal government.

We’ll have to sit back and see how this one plays out. But here’s to hoping that New Jersey can get these bills passed and be the first state to legalize online gambling. Perhaps if the federal government sees states beginning to legalizing online gambling, they’ll work on it themselves.

Attn: New Jersey Blackjack Fans!

Recently Pennsylvania’s State Government approved table games for their casinos and resorts. This happened mostly because of a large hole in the State’s budget that needed to be filled badly. Very badly. But not only would allowing table games, such as blackjack, to be allowed in casinos and resorts provide income for Pennsylvania through taxes, it will also be a boost for the State’s economy.

Next door neighbor New Jersey, known for its famed gambling center Atlantic City, seems to pull those interested in gambling out of Pennsylvania. Now by having table games of their own, Pennsylvania hopes to keep their citizens gambling in-state. They also hope to pull citizens of New Jersey and New York over the state line with games like blackjack and poker. Pennsylvania is hoping that residents of New Jersey and New York will see a place to play their favorite table games and not have to make the drive to Atlantic City. In other words, Pennsylvania is trying to offer convenience in hopes of boosting their income.

But with a reputation of not being one to mess with, New Jersey isn’t going into the night quietly. Queue that “Anything you can do, I can do better” song please. New Jersey is now looking at legalizing online sports betting using an account system to take wagers over the phone or internet. But it doesn’t look like this will be limited to sports betting.

New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak is working with the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association on a bill to make most forms of online gambling legal for citizens of New Jersey. That would include blackjack. Lesniak is looking to go for all of it to compete with Pennsylvania.

Get ready for some serious online gambling competition from these two in the months to come.