The Waiting is over in New Jersey
After losing count on how many articles we have written on this subject, the wait is finally over. Yesterday Governor Chris Christie finally signed the online gambling bill making Online Poker officially legal in the Garden State. The signature was always going to come after Christie requested that a few amendments be made. They were made, he signed, deal done. It's been a long time coming, two years in fact, and now New Jersey joins Nevada and Delaware in approving online gambling. The bills differ however with the Nevada bill only allowing for online poker with Delaware and New Jersey now allowing online casino gambling. After the conditional veto just a few short weeks ago there was always going to be a happy ending and following the victory State Senator Ray Lesniak was ecstatic in saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. It’s been an unnecessarily long road, but we finally got there. It’s a relief. I didn't want to have to go through this a third time, but I’ll tell you I was prepared to. The governor knew I wasn’t going away, and unfortunately neither were the problems of Atlantic City.”
The Road Ahead in New Jersey
Atlantic City has seen a drop in revenue over the past few years from $5.2 billion in 2006 to just $3.05 billion in 2012 and the hope is that this bill can help to turn things around. The proposed sale of the Atlantic Club Hotel and Casino to PokerStars will be another factor in assisting the ailing East coast resort should the sale go through. So that's the first step finally done and dusted but there is indeed a long road still ahead. Taking Nevada as an example, they legalized online poker back in June 2011 and we are still yet to see a hand dealt, however Lesniak has plans to get things done quickly as well as push for interstate online gambling in the future. Senator Lesniak said, “We need to get aggressive in courting other states to hook up with us. The governor has an aggressive budget progression for revenue in Internet gaming, so to meet those one of the ways is to take the lead with other states. I expect the momentum to grow once states see the success we’re having with it in New Jersey.” He ended with, “This is a huge lifeline for Atlantic City — a big win for the state.” From here there will be a period of provider assessment and a lot of testing while regulators cross the T's and dot the I's on exactly how to get it all regulated.