New Jersey is poised to legalize Internet gaming, becoming just the third state in the country to do so. Although Gov. Chris Christie recently issued a conditional veto of the legislation, lawmakers have stated that they are confident that they will quickly have a revised bill on his desk.
The law only legalizes intra-state online gaming by New Jersey residents. In addition, all Internet gaming activities must be confined to Atlantic City. Under New Jersey’s gambling laws, voters must approve a constitutional amendment for casino gambling to exist outside of Atlantic City. Thus, the restrictions allow the law to skirt these constitutional issues that have plagued previous attempt to legalize online gaming.
To address Gov. Christie’s concerns, lawmakers must increase the tax on online gaming revenue from 10 percent to 15 percent, and implement a 10-year trial period via a sunset provision. Gov. Christie has also called for regulations to restrict relationships between lawmakers and Internet gaming licensees.
Online gambling is predicted to provide a much-needed boost to New Jersey’s economy. Analysts are predicting that the gaming market could be worth up to $1 billion in three years. In the wake of Gov. Christie’s conditional green light, shares of gaming stocks skyrocketed, suggesting that companies and investors are eagerly anticipating the bill’s final approval.
If you have any questions about the proposed legislation or would like to discuss how it may impact your business, please contact me, Robert Marisco, or the Scarinci Hollenbeck attorney with whom you work.