Last night, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed an iGaming Bill into state law, that allows casinos to offer not only poker, but other traditional games to players in New Jersey.
After Gov. Christie’s recent conditional veto on the bill, changes had been made to include a 10 year trial period, a rise in the tax due from online gaming (from 10% to 15%), improved reporting on problem gaming and addiction.
The bill had been passed by both houses of the New Jersey legislature yesterday with overwhelming majorities, and while this was expected, Gov. Christie signed the bill into law before his key budget address. The revenues to jump from $235m to $436m in the next financial year, according to budget documents released. These number seem to suggest that the market is going to be worth in excess of 1 billion dollars in the next financial year.
In a statement released to the pres Gov. Christie commented “This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly…But with the proper regulatory framework and safeguards that I insisted on including in the bill, I am confident that we are offering a responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole.”
New Jersey may be the 3rd state to pass iGaming law, but has more residents than both the other 2 states combined, making New Jersey the biggest Government regulated iGaming market in the US. Experts have been quoted as saying the online action will need to be approved by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) before any wagers take place, and this will take a minimum of 3 months, and may stretch into as long as a year.
The Poker Player Alliance commended Gov Christie for signing the bill into law. Executive Director of the PPA, John Pappas said “The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide, so there is clearly a want and a need for a legal and regulated online gambling market. New Jersey will now serve as a leader in this thriving industry.”
The PPA State Director, Anthony Salerno added “This law will invigorate Atlantic City and will position New Jersey as national online gaming epicenter.”
The markets have responded today, and the stocks in New Jersey Casino partnered Bwin.Party and 888 have jumped 8% and 13% respectively following this news. PokerStars, who are not listed on any stock exchange, are also in final negotiations to purchase a Casino in New Jersey, which may allow them to access the market.