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New Jersey Governor dithers on internet gambling bill

The question reverberating around the online gambling industry - will New Jersey governor Chris Christie sign into law Sen. Ray Lesniak's successful online gambling legalisation bill - remained unanswered this week as the governor signed off on two other gambling-related bills.

A2570 has already survived committee stages, the state senate and the House. The bill was one of several gambling-related proposals, including those signed by the governor this week, that were considered by the Assembly earlier this month. It has enjoyed significant political support throughout its political passage.

Lesniak's bill could set the scene for other states to launch independent, intrastate legalisation proposals, and passed though its final legislative stage on January 10 before going before the governor for signature amid speculation that he was opposed to its provisions.

The governor has 45 days in which to act, taking him well into February before he has to make a final decision. If he ignores the bill, it will automatically pass into law after the 45 days; should he decide to exercise his gubernatorial veto, the bill will go back to the legislature, requiring a two-thirds majority to pass. The governor may also delay further developments by referring the issue to federal levels for considerations and advice.

This week Christie signed off on two other gambling bills which passed through the state legislature in the same general timeframe - a measure allowing betting exchanges to operate in the state for horse racing, and a new method of pooling pari-mutuel wagers.

Lesniak says that New Jersey's entry into the online gambling sector could boost land casino revenues by a much-needed $100 million and create 500 high-tech jobs in supporting services.

Business declines were experienced by all 11 Atlantic City Casinos last year.

Source: InfoPowa News

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