Officials in the state of New Jersey have given a preliminary nod to a new online gambling bill. Known as Senate Bill 1565, this particular policy represents the latest attempt to legalize some form of internet wagering within the Garden State.
The bill, penned by Senators Raymond Lesniak and James Whelan, recently passed through the state’s Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Historic Preservation Committee. Support for the bill was unanimous, carrying the day with an 11-0 vote.
As currently drafted, Lesniak and Whelan’s proposal would allow the land-based casinos of Atlantic city to accept online wagers from residents of New Jersey. Following its victory in the small arena, the bill is scheduled to appear before the entire state senate. Lesniak, a longtime advocate of internet gaming, hopes to have the piece signed into law by September of this year.
“This is another step forward toward my goal of New Jersey becoming the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming,” he said, “generating hundreds of millions in revenues for our casino industry, thousands of jobs for Atlantic City and tens of millions of revenues for our Casino Revenue Fund to help seniors and the disabled.”
As many will recall, this isn’t the first time that an online gaming bill has drawn attention in New Jersey. Last year, a similar measure made it all the way to the desk of Governor Chris Christie before falling under the veto ax. In the face of criticism, the Governor maintained an open attitude toward the possibility of internet wagering in his state. He felt, however, that the initial bill lacked in several key areas. Security and the prevention of underage gaming were two areas which needed further attention, Christie said. Expect both of these topics to be covered much more thoroughly in Lesniak’s latest effort.