The legislation that will allow people in New Jersey to gamble online at a virtual Atlantic City casino has taken another step forward. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee voted 11-0 to advance the proposal.
Though unanimous, there were five senators who were concerned that horse tracks were not a part of the legislation. Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union who is the main sponsor of the legislation hopes that online gambling will be running in New Jersey by the fall. He also stated that a deal has not been reach with Gov. Chris Christie as yet. Christie vetoed a similar bill to this last year.
Sen. Raymond Lesniak states,
“What we want to do is get this Internet gaming up and going before the end of the year, hopefully by September, so that New Jersey can be the first in the nation and lead the way.”
What’s at stake? Money, jobs and prestige. A lobbyist for Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, Bill Pascrell III, said that the state who establishes online gambling first could become the technology hub for the online gambling industry.
Pascrell wants New Jersey to be the hub, “We need to create the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming in New Jersey.”
Money and jobs is another big factor in the push to get online gambling. The state Casino Revenue Fund Advisory Commission consultant quoted by officials has said that online gambling could generate $210 million to $250 million in gross revenue, 1,900 jobs and $46 million to $55 million in tax revenue.