New Jersey Assembly Approves Internet Gambling Bill
Online poker, for all intents and purposes, legalized in United State
Fully legal online gambling is coming to the United States … like this year, if not pretty much right now … regardless of whatever happened with the Reid Bill whereby one of the most powerful men in the world was not able to deliver to his strongest backers a relatively inconsequential bill that came with money and jobs for his own state (on a piece of legislation that was two years in the making) despite his party’s having control of the Senate, the House, and the Executive Branch.
But we’ll have to save that discussion for a later date … Last night the New Jersey Assembly (the Garden State’s version of the House) approved a package of five bills to recharge their battered Atlantic City-based gaming industry, one of which allows their casinos to offer online gambling (not just poker, but casino games, too) within NJ borders. Their Senate had already given the measures an official “like”, so now all that remains is needing a signature from Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who has given no indications of wanting to veto.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Those bills’ final passage marks the first real change in more than three decades to how business is conducted in the nation’s second-largest gaming market, which is reeling from the weak economy and regional competition. The resulting structure mirrors that of Nevada.
Apparently, if the Feds weren’t gonna do it (see above for why they woulda/coulda/shoulda if they really wanted to), the states will … starting with New Jersey. From there, other cash-strapped states (with a framework for legal gambling already in place) will follow, cutting-and-pasting the New Jersey legislation with slight tweaks to appease their own constitutions and gambling proponents. California and Florida seem to be next in line.
So for all intents and purposes, with last night’s vote in Trenton — it passed 63-11-3, going along with the Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan approval, 34-2 — INTRAstate online gambling has arrived on American shores … in a way even the Tea Party should be proud of! Now the US will begin to grapple with things like:
- Just how much tax can and should the government rake?
- Where do Full Tilt and PokerStars fit in?
- How much power does Caesar’s have in matters outside of Nevada?
- And Indians? What about the indians? They always seem to want in.
You name the question … All the issues that have come up and been argued over and hammered out before, will begin to be settled, all around a law that calls for regulation of online gambling, but provides few hard rules beyond what is theoretically soon to be legal within state lines.
(NOTE: Still looking for the exact piece of legislation passed. The above sentence needs a bit more fact-check.)
Here’s an article by a British investment advisor saying yes, it’s happening, and several publicly traded British companies look to benefit. It doesn’t declare the “implosion” that I’ve seen and some like to mock — but European financiers do see it a progressive “dismantling” of the UIGEA — the law that for all we hate about it has propped up the poker industry as we currently know it since 2007.