New Jersey Continues to Advance Online Gaming Legislation

In New Jersey, the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee passed online gaming bill A2578 by a vote of 3-1-1 on Thursday.

Last Month, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee passed the state Senate’s version of online legislation by a 11-0-1 margin.

Last March Governor Christie vetoed an online gaming bill that had passed both the Senate and Assembly. And though the governor has since remarked, “I think New Jersey should be in that business. I think we should be an epicenter for that business,” some suspect he has once again flipped on the issue of online gambling in the state.

Recently State Senator Raymond Lesniak—sponsor of S1565— expressed concern over the Governor’s position on the issue. After a meeting with the Governor’s staff Lesniak commented, “We were told … that the Atlantic City casinos have not made the case that Internet gaming is good for them.”

He then speculated that this change in Governor Christie’s view could be related to the governor’s political agenda beyond the state of New Jersey. Christie is a strong supporter of US presidential candidate Mitt Romney—who is believed to be seeking the support of billionaire casino owner and staunch online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson.

Both bills will now proceed to full votes in their respective chambers. However, New Jersey has been down this road before.