Update: New Developments in New Jersey

Bill to face Assembly vote on Dec. 13?

A major breakthrough may be on New Jersey’s way, as the intrastate online gambling legalizing bill sponsored and advocated by Senator Ray Lesniak continues to progress. The bill has already passed the state Senate, and the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee, which clears its way for an Assembly vote, which it may face as soon as on Dec. 13. It takes only forty one votes to pass the bill.

If it passes the assembly as well, the bill will only need Governor Chris Christie's vote - and a 45 day deadline to become official. And even though there are certain implications of the bill and its insistence on state's rights for passage that concern him, the governor has made it clear that he has no "philosophical objections" to its intent.

Based on the bill S490, the land casinos in Atlantic City will be allowed to offer online casino and poker games exclusively to residents of New Jersey. This should result in additional revenue and tax income for the state through a 20 percent of gross gaming revenues taxation provision.

The bill drafting has largely involved the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), and it is claimed that the amounts online gambling could generate may reach $250 million, as well as bring $55 million in taxes on an annual basis. H2 Gambling Capital has also taken a bullish outlook, predicting that in five years, annual casino gross win could reach $290 million and poker gross win may amount to $270 million.

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