Those who have been betting upon United States politics almost have a winner for the earliest state to legalize internet gambling: New Jersey. Legislatures in the New Jersey Assembly and the New Jersey Senate have both tremendously approved a bill to allow internet wagering on blackjack, poker, and other compelling games at online casinos in the US.
In a rare bipartisan act, the Republicans and Democrats of New Jersey accepted the new American gambling law. Within the Assembly, the internet gambling bill passed in a 63 to 11 vote, while Senate counterparts passed the bill with a 34 to 2 vote.
Only one step remains before the law is officially enacted: Republican governor Chris Christie must still sign the bill. While he will undoubtedly receive some pressure against signing, Christie has proven a friend to Atlantic City casinos throughout the past year. Thus, though a federal court battle lies just beyond the horizon, there is a high degree of anticipation that he will ratify the law.
Permitting online gambling in New Jersey is expected to funnel millions of dollars into the state’s financial system when the legal online casinos start generating revenue and paying taxes under the new gambling law. Florida and California politicians have displayed intentions to follow suit for the sake of their state economies.
There will, however, be one important catch even once the bill passes: in order not to violate the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), both the player and the internet casino must reside in New Jersey. Alternatively, players at internet casinos in New Jersey can also reside entirely outside of the United States. The World Trade Organization is unhappy with the New Jersey American internet gambling laws, as New Jersey residents are still not allowed to gamble on internet casinos in other nations, which violates treaties which should ensure fair trade.