Casino Watch Focus last reported that online gambling would remain illegal, as lame-duck session efforts by Senate Majority Leader Harry Ried’s gambling bill never materialized. However, the focus has been on the federal level and several state legislatures have been debating legalizing state online gambling bills. An online gambling website is reporting that New Jersey has become the first state to pass legislation attempting to regulate state online gambling:
In the race to become the first state to regulate online gambling, New Jersey has won. Lawmakers in both the Senate and the Assembly overwhelmingly passed legislation Monday that will bring poker, blackjack, and other popular casino games to the Internet.
In a rare show of solidarity, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the online gambling bill. The Senate passed the bill 34-2, while it passed the Assembly by a 63-11 vote. Now, all that is left between Atlantic City casinos and their customers at home will be the signature of Governor Chris Christie.
There is a chance that the bill will be rejected, as Gov. Christie is a Republican and will most likely face political pressure to uphold the Republican lead efforts to keep online gambling illegal at the federal level. However, he has been vocal about his support for expanded gambling and if the bill gets signed into law, they will almost definitely be facing an uphill battle:
The federal laws will create a stumbling block for New Jersey. While states have the right to create their own laws, New Jersey will have to be careful of how they regulate the Internet gaming industry. One key factor will be monitoring to ensure that only New Jersey residents gamble at the online sites.
This legislation will influence the way other state legislatures’ approach the issue. Keep reading for updates on this situation, and for more information on the dangers of gambling, please visit CASINO WATCH, & CASINO WATCH FOUNDATION.