Chris Christie Signs Revised Online Gambling Bill
Chris Christie signed a revised online gambling bill on Tuesday that made New Jersey the third state in the US to legalize gambling on the internet.
The legislature passed the revised bill hours earlier. The bill was changed at Christie’s request.
It is expected that the bill will bring about the largest expansion of legalized gambling in the East Coast state since the first casino opened in Atlantic City in 1978.
The New York Times reports that the changes to the bill include setting a 10-year trial period for online betting, and raising the taxes on casinos in Atlantic City for their online winnings from 10 to 15 percent.
After he signed the bill to legalize online gambling, Governor Chris Christie commented:
“This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly. But with the proper regulatory framework and safeguards that I insisted on including in the bill, I am confident that we are offering a responsible yet exciting option …”
The measure was announced on the same day that the New Jersey Governor unveiled his new budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year, according to Reuters.
Nevada and Delaware were the first two states to allow online gambling. Nevada, home to Las Vegas, the gambling Mecca of the United States, started allowing online gambling last week.
The benefit of the new bill to New Jersey could be substantial. The state could see an estimated $436 million in fiscal 2014 revenue, up from $235 million this fiscal year. The idea behind the online gambling bill was to help the struggling casinos in Atlantic City by attracting new gamblers who aren’t currently going to them.
The State Division of Gambling Enforcement will set the start date for New Jersey’s online gambling to start. It is expected to begin between three and six months from now.