New Jersey Assembly Advances Internet Gaming Bill

On June 18, 2012, the New Jersey State Assembly’s Appropriations Committee moved forward a bill that would authorize internet gaming at Atlantic City casinos. The bill, which has been making its way through various committees in the State legislature, provides that all authorized casino games, including poker, may be offered through internet gaming, to players within New Jersey. So as to comport with the recent U.S. Department of Justice opinion and the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, the N.J. bill provides that to participate in internet gaming, a player must be physically present in New Jersey whenever a wager is placed, The bill does, however, provide that should the N.J. Division of Gaming Enforcement determine that wagers may be accepted from players outside of New Jersey, the legislation will allow such wagers. This provision gives the legislation the flexibility to expand the potential player base should there be a change in current federal law which currently would limit prospective internet wagering to intra-state based wagering.

In order to address a potential New Jersey State Constitutional issue, the bill provides that all equipment used by a licensee to conduct internet gaming, including computers, servers, monitor rooms and hubs, must be located in a restricted area on the premises of an Atlantic City casino hotel. Additionally the bill provides that any internet wagering must be conducted by a licensed Atlantic City casino. It does however, permit gaming technology companies, once they are licensed as a casino service industry enterprise, to provide goods or services to an Atlantic City casino in connection with internet gaming and accordingly to enter into a revenue participation agreement with the casino licensee.

It has been speculated that while the bill will be presented for a full vote by N.J. Legislature sometime in September, 2012.

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