Online Poker Bill Finally Approved in New Jersey

February 12, 2013

After the much controversy over the online poker bill in New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie decided to approve the bill. Christie vetoed in favor of the bill but he requested the sponsors of the bill to make a few amendments to it. Christie stated that the state of New Jersey was ready to accept such a change, and thus he decided to vote in favor of the bill.

Christie supports the online poker bill

According to Chris, internet gambling has the potential to develop into a full-fledged industry in the US in the coming few years. Therefore, legalizing online poker in the state of New Jersey, in the present stage, would give the state an opportunity to establish itself in this field, he stated. The sponsors and various supporters of the bill are happy that Christie viewed the bill from an economic point of view, and they are hoping that this decision will bring the state of New Jersey substantial amounts of revenue.

The proposed changes in the bill

Even though Christie approved the online poker bill, he requested the sponsors to make a few amends to it. The changes proposed by Christie were increase in the tax rates and a ten year expiration of the bill. The original bill proposed a 10 percent tax on the operators; however, Christie wants the tax rate to be 15 percent. According to him, the additional revenue from the taxes can be used to prevent problem gambling among the residents. So he proposed this change in the bill

In addition to this, Christie is approving this bill only for a span of 10 years. So, online poker will be legal in the state of New Jersey for the coming 10 years. After the completion of 10 years, the bill will be introduced in the legislative house again, and it will have to be passed by the state authorities. Christie feels that the online gambling industry will be going through a drastic change in the coming few years; this is the primary reason as to why he has approved this bill only for a span of 10 years.

The sponsors are going to incorporate these changes in the original bill and reintroduce it in the state legislative house in the coming few days. This time, the bill is expected to be passed by the State Assembly and the State Senate without any problems. Once the bill is passed by all the state authorities, it will be sent to Christie for his approval.

Impact of this decision on the gambling industry

When Christie announced that he is going to legalize online gambling in the state of New Jersey, many gambling brands witnessed a rise in their stocks. Companies like Caesars, MGM, and Boyd saw a rise in their stocks once this news was announced. In addition to this, many other gambling brands witnessed an increase in their shares, for instance, William Hill, Zynga, 888, Playtech, and bwin.party.

PokerStars excited about the news

The officials at PokerStars were glad that Christie approved of the online poker bill, as they have just purchased a casino in Atlantic City. Many experts claim that the company purchased the casino because they felt that Christie would approve the online poker bill. Now that the bill is approved, the company is going to spend a lot of money on developing the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

According to a spokesperson from PokerStars, legalization of online poker will bring the state of New Jersey a lot of revenue that can be utilized for various development activities in the state. The casino that has been purchased by the company employs close to 2000 residents from the New Jersey region. Now that the online poker bill has been approved, the company will expand its activities at the casino, and more jobs will be generated.

The spokesperson from PokerStars stated that the company is looking forward to expand its business in New Jersey. He also stated that the company is going to try and contribute towards the economic growth of the state by creating job opportunities for the residents, and by expanding the online gaming network in the region.

The details of the New Jersey online poker bill

The original online poker bill that was introduced in the legislative house in New Jersey stated that all forms of gambling, including poker, should be legalized by the state. The bill will have a few minor revisions. However, the revised bill will still be applicable to all forms of gambling and online poker.

The providers who receive a license from the state authorities will have to locate their servers at the casinos in the Atlantic City. Additionally, the providers who wish to get a license for online poker will have to obtain a license as a “Casino Service Industry Enterprises.” The licenses issued to the providers will be valid for a period of one year, and then the providers will have to renew them. In order to get the license, the providers will have to pay at least $200,000, and the renewal fee for the license will not be less than $150,000.

Once the changes suggested by Christie are incorporated in the original bill, the licensed providers will have to pay the state authorities a 15 percent tax on their gross revenues. Furthermore, only individuals above the age of 21 will be allowed to pay poker on the online mediums. In order to access the online poker sites, the players will have to provide a verification document. If the verification document is not approved by the authorities, the individuals will not be allowed to play on the network.

Future plans of the sponsors

Once the bill on online poker is approved, the sponsors will try to introduce an intra-state wager system. In an intra-state betting system, the online poker providers will be able to accept wagers from eligible players all over the US. However, this change will be proposed when more US states will legalize online poker within their premises.