Jersey senate committee passes online gambling legislation
4 April 2012
By Vin Narayanan
A senate committee in New Jersey voted Tuesday to allow Atlantic City casinos to offer online gambling services to New Jersey residents.
The bill approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee (SBA) allows all forms of gambling allowed in Atlantic City to be offered online, requires all the equipment used to offer online gaming be housed in Atlantic City and sets a 10 percent tax on Internet gross gaming revenue.
Land-based gross gaming revenue is taxed at a rate of 8 percent.
Gov. Chris Christie vetoed similar legislation last year because it helped subsidize New Jersey's horse racing industry, didn't specifically address the issue of banning Internet cafes for the purpose of gambling and that the expansion of gambling beyond Atlantic City required a voter referendum.
The bill approved this week addresses some of those issues. It provides no additional money for the horse racing industry and prohibits the marketing of online gaming by anyone other than the casinos offering it.
And by requiring the gaming equipment to be located in Atlantic City, bill sponsors Sen. Ray Lesniak and Sen. Jim Whelan hope Christie will no longer view online gambling as an expansion of gaming beyond Atlantic City.
The bill also contains language that will allow New Jersey to accept bets from places outside of New Jersey if it is legal to do so.
Eleven of the 13 members of the SBA Committee voted to approve the online gaming bill. Sen. Paul Sarlo, the committee's chairman, abstained from the vote. Sarlo represents a district that includes East Rutherford, home of the Meadowlands Race Track.
Sen. Anthony Bucco did not vote on the measure
Online Gambling Legal in NJ...may expand to other states (Sept target date)
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