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New Jersey One Step Closing to Internet Gaming Regulation and Sticking it to UIGEA

18 November 2010 by admin

While national online gaming and regulation is floundering in the lame duck session, no thanks to the Republicans, New Jersey is taking the matter into their own hands and is not about to let an opportunity for revenue slip through its hands.

Yesterday the New Jersey State Senate passed Bill S490. I know, the home of the ever delightful and enriching Jersey Shore is looking more and more like it will became the first state in the U.S. to legalize online gambling within their state and for their citizens. To a certain extent that is.

Bill S490, proposed by State Senator Ray Lesniak, will allow the casinos in Atlantic City to create and operate online casino version of their brick and mortar counterparts. New Jersey residents and online gambling fans overseas will be able to create account and play online poker and online blackjack and more in these online casino counterparts, but residents of the other states are out of luck…unless the Democrats can succeed in getting Barney Frank’s bill passed for national online gambling regulation.

New Jersey is eager to embrace online gambling regulation since the decline in revenue from the Atlantic City casinos, which are a big revenue generator for the state. Or they were. Visitors to the classic casinos have declined over the last two years in part to increased competition from its neighbors Pennsylvania, Maryland and Delaware—all of which have legalized casino gambling within their own states to generate more revenue for them. It is a northeast battle for revenue and New Jersey is ready to take it to the next level to stay on top.

But really I cannot blame residents of neighboring states for taking up their gambling in their own states. It is closer to home for them. And with the price of gas getting higher and higher, it is not surprising that, say, a Pennsylvania resident is going to make the short drive to one of the new casinos that opened earlier this year as opposed to driving all the way to Atlantic City.

On the other hand I do want to see some states legalize online gambling within their own borders. It just seems like it would be a nice stick in the face of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). I like to imagine lawmakers seeing one major gambling state pass their own online gambling regulation; now if only Nevada could get on board. Florida and California appear to be next in line in the online gambling regulation race. Good for them!

You might be wondering how New Jersey can decide to legalize online gambling within their state if UIGEA covers the entire U.S. Basically UIGEA was not well written and it has a lot of loopholes. Like how it does not actually say that U.S. citizens cannot gamble online; instead it says that financial institutions are not to knowingly process transaction to and from online casinos. But if a U.S. player can find a way around that then there is nothing in UIGEA to stop them.

Another loophole in UIGEA is that each state has the power to regulate online gambling within their own state. So, like how New Jersey is headed, a state can pass a law for online gambling regulation so that only their citizens can overseas players—if desired—can gamble in online casinos that are based within that state.

In other words, New Jersey residents will only be allowed to gamble online in online casinos who are licensed in New Jersey and are run out of New Jersey.

It definitely looks like New Jersey is setting its sights higher than being known for the birth of that messy reality TV show. They just might be known as the first to stick it to UIGEA. With committee and now Senate approval, Bill S490 only has to pass in the Assembly and be signed off on by Governor Chris Christie, whose aides are going over the terms of the bill to make sure that all their I’s are dotted and T’s are crossed. New Jersey online gambling regulation could be approved by all in the first quarter of next year. But could come as soon as the end of this year.

5 Responses to “New Jersey One Step Closing to Internet Gaming Regulation and Sticking it to UIGEA”

  1. Paul Besson says:

    I am currently working on a project for caigames.

    I am looking for some casinos which may apply to get a gaming licence in New Jersey. I would also appreciate if anyone has some details about providers, slot machines vendor, maintenance services operator…etc

    I would appreciate if someone has some details to communicate about it.


  2. […] online gambling in New Jersey is not only for New Jersey residents; that bill would also allow Atlantic City casinos online counterparts to accept foreign players too. And that is a bit of a thorn in the side […]

  3. Cynthia says:

    Well it is not legalized quite yet. It still has to pass the Assembly and the governor, but it looks good. In fact, it is going to the Assembly today.

  4. danielle jacobs says:

    I congratulate New Jersey for being the first state wherein online gambling has been legalized. I am looking forward for more states to achieve this kind of success 🙂

  5. […] in the process of making themselves residents of other states. I know it is across the country but New Jersey looks to be well on its way to being the first state in the country to legalize online gambling in […]