Governor Chris Christie has just signed a bill that would authorize casinos in Atlantic City to offer internet casino games. The legislation A2578, which requires that the online bets be placed only in New Jersey, received bipartisan approval in both houses. It passed the Assembly today by a vote of 68-5, with one legislator abstaining. The Senate passed the bill 35-1.
It would limit licenses to casinos in Atlantic City and require those companies to keep most of the equipment to run the operations on site.
Earlier this month, Christie conditionally vetoed a bill which was sent for amendment on the proposed changes made by his office. Today that amended bill was finally signed and it is now up to lawmakers who must determine how to roll out and license the new online industry.
Late last week, Nevada signed their online gaming legislation becoming the first state to introduce a licensing system for online poker for state residents that would also allow Nevada license holders to work with other states to offer interstate poker.
The news is very good for PokerStars who are in the process of acquiring a land-based casino in Atlantic City for $50 million which they could use as a stepping stone to re-enter the U.S. online poker market legally. Unlike Nevada, there was no “bad actor” clause in the New Jersey legislation that would prevent companies that previously took bets from American citizens from applying for a license.