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Following New Jersey’s recent approval of the United States’ first legal online gambling bill, the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative has heaped heavy praise upon the Garden State. Though the bill itself has yet to be signed into law, there is a great deal of optimism sweeping the gaming community.

The only remaining barrier comes in the form of Governer Chris Christie, who must either sign or return, or reject the proposal over the next few weeks. So far, Christie has given no indication as to which way he’s leaning.

Michael Waxman, Executive Director for the Safe and Secure Internet Gambling Initiative, made the following comments on the issue:

“We applaud the New Jersey legislature for adopting legislation to regulate and control Internet gambling activity, creating a common sense framework for protecting consumers, creating jobs and stimulating the state’s economy.

“This vote is a positive step by creating a licensed and regulated online gambling environment with appropriate consumer protections for New Jersey residents, which is a much better approach than the failed attempts led by the Federal government to prohibit the activity. New Jersey will also be poised to capture new and much-needed revenues from the activity.

“While it is encouraging to have a common sense effort to regulate Internet gambling activity emanating from New Jersey, one of the leading land-based regulatory jurisdictions in the world, an all-encompassing Federal regime is the optimum solution for controlling the activity and protecting every American.

“Once the bill becomes law, New Jersey will be at the forefront of efforts to regulate Internet gambling activity in the US and will be setting an example for how regulation can work. We hope other elected leaders at the Federal and state levels take notice and follow suit.”