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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has vetoed a bill for the second time that would legalize and regulate internet gambling in the Garden State, citing that he would like to see a ten year trial time and higher tax rates on cyber casinos.
Christie vetoed the bill as a time limit to decide on the bill was coming up. The Governor said that he wants to see the tax rate for internet casinos raised from the 10% endorsed in the bill to 15%, as well as ten year trial period which would allow the state to opt out if results are negative.
In a statement Governor Christie said: "Now is the time for our state to move forward, again leading the way for the nation, by becoming one of the first states to permit Internet gaming. While Atlantic City's reputation and stature as one of the premier resort destinations on the East Coast are well-chronicled, it is no secret that revenue from the region's most important industries, gaming and tourism, has been in decline."
"Since the beginning of my administration, I have stressed the importance of reversing the trend of economic contraction in Atlantic City and have made the revitalization of the region's gaming and tourism industries a key priority."
The bill's chief architect Senator Ray Lesniak said that he was encouraged by Christie's words and thinks that the changes can be accomplished quickly.
Speaking about the issue Lesniak said: "(Internet gambling would) pump hundreds of millions of dollars into its ailing revenues, and will prevent the closing of at least one casino and save thousands of jobs. New Jersey will now have an opportunity to be the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming and reap the huge economic benefits that will flow into the state."
This is not the first time Christie vetoed an internet gambling bill. In 2011 the robust governor vetoed a similar bill, citing concerns on constitutionality and betting proliferation.
The move could be a boom to the state, which has seen revenues drop in Atlantic City for several years. Internet poker giant PokerStars is set to try to purchase the Atlantic Club Casino in order to get a foot in the door for cyber gambling, potentially saving 1,700 jobs in the process.