New Jersey to Legalize Online Gambling
As I type this, there is a large group of officials occupying some big high-ceilinged room, seated in their comfortable chairs, discussing a number of political issues that are certainly of importance to the citizens of New Jersey. One of them is whether to enact a regulatory scheme for the legalization of online gambling within the borders of the state.
Should the congressional hall come to a close in agreement on the affirmation of A-2570, New Jersey will become the first state to allow online casino gambling on a 100% legal basis. With the recent report of 9.6% losses in Atlantic City casino revenue over the duration of 2010, there may be no better time for the state to pass the bill. Certainly AC casinos would stand to benefit the most from such decriminalization of online gambling.
The idea has suffered multiple delays over the last few months, most recently so that Senator Raymond Lesniak could work out some tax details associated with the regulatory guidelines. The latest back-burner push came on January 6th, 2011, when A-2570 was last due to be recognized and discussed, but did not make it to the verbal floor.
Should the bill make it past the senate, only one step will remain to see legal online gambling in New Jersey, and that is the affirmative signing of the bill by Governor Chris Christie. There has been no indication that the governor would not be willing to sign off on the legislation. At this moment in time, barring any unexpected delays or difficulties, it appears that New Jersey will be the first state in the Union to legalize online gambling.
Online poker players from all around the USA are waiting expectantly for the final word on the matter to be announced. It is hoped by players and supporters of the right to play online poker for real money, especially the Poker Players Alliance (PPA), that legislation in New Jersey will spur similar regulatory action to take place in other states across the country; a domino effect, if you will.
California is already in the process up writing up a legal online poker bill to deliver to the senate. Once the first state succeeds in legalizing online gambling, and others soon follow, industry analysts speculate that the US government will finally take another look at the billions of dollars in tax revenue they could be scooping up by regulating, licensing and taxing the online gambling industry.