Following Nevada’s legalization of Internet gaming last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill Tuesday legalizing Internet gaming. New Jersey becomes the third state in the nation to legalize gambling over the Internet, following in the wake of Nevada and Delaware.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, New Jersey is now the biggest state to allow regulated online gambling and has established a template that proponents of the legislation hope other states will follow. The new law allows Atlantic City’s casinos to run websites that take bets on games such as blackjack, slots and poker. For now, the law requires bettors to be physically present in the state, which regulators believe can be verified through technology which tracks a user’s location.
The move aims to revitalize the once thriving gambling stronghold of Atlantic City. The Wall Street Journal reported that H2 Gambling Capital, one of the gambling industry’s leading consulting market intelligence companies, estimates that online gaming in New Jersey will generate revenue of $410 million the first year, growing to $590 million after a few years. The state of New Jersey stands to collect a 15 percent tax of the total revenue.
Notwithstanding the opportunities, many hurdles remain. Up until 2011, the Department of Justice considered online gaming illegal and aggressively targeted companies involved in such activities. Given the regulatory uncertainty, time will reveal the true impact of this new legislation.
The bill will not take effect until the State Division of Gaming Enforcement sets a start date, estimated to be three to nine months from now.