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New Jersey Governor Delays Online Gambling Bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has used his veto powers to delay legislation that would institute online gambling in the Garden State.

Governor Christie cited constitutional concerns over the law, despite strong bipartisan support by the New Jersey legislature. The move is similar to the tactic that Christie last year to derail similar internet gambling legislation.

The pending legislation is S3019 which was proposed by State Senator Ray Lesniak after the U.S. Department of Justice opined that online gambling was not a federal crime.

After the delay, Senator Lesniak said that he spoke with Governor Christie and will delay reintroducing his bill until the next legislative session.

A statement by Lesniak said: "I expect that we can get it through the Legislature and signed by the Governor within the first few weeks of the new session. There are competing opinions on that within the administration and within the industry, but I am convinced that we can move forward and get it up and rolling without amending the constitution."

Lesniak's new legislation would see online gambling controlled by the Casino Control Commission, mandate servers in Atlantic City, and introduce the following restrictions

  • Online gambling for New Jersey residents only

  • 21 year age minimum

  • Card games only in Atlantic City land casinos

  • Some revenues to help the horse racing industry

  • Advertising restrictions

For his part, Governor Christie has stated his desire to see online gambling in New Jersey. In a press conference last year, Christie said "I think New Jersey should be in that (internet gambling) business. I think we should be a epicenter for that business, but I want to do it right. I do not want to rush and get legislation that either doesn't pass state constitutional muster, or creates other problems for us."

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