Chris Christie, surprised everyone by vetoing the Intra-state Internet Gambling bill

AFTER ALL OF THE LOBBYING and commentary and reports into the fiscal benefits a regulated iGaming framework would have for New Jersey, the state's Governor, Chris Christie, surprised everyone by vetoing the Intra-state Internet Gambling bill and suggesting it be included on November's ballet for referendum. Atlantic City casinos will have to now wait until then to see if the voters of NJ will allow them to offer Internet gaming to New Jersey state residents.

On a day when many expected a 'conditional veto' to pave the way for a fast-tracked passage of a revised bill in co-operation with the Governor, the industry was instead left contemplating the reality that the fate of any regulated iGaming in the state now lay in the hands of the New Jersey people.

This referendum has divided industry opinion as to how this will impact the bill's chances of passing. Indeed, some believe that the state has now sacrificed the all-important first-mover-advantage with Iowa and Nevada both making noises around state regulation for poker, the former having an initial bill passed by nine votes to six.
Before the NJ bill will be viable for referendum it will have to be re-introduced to the Senate and House to go through the same approval process that got the bill on the Governor's desk in the first place. However, bill sponsor, Senator Raymond J Lesniak, sees light at the end of the tunnel and emphasised the need for haste in re¬introducing the bill.

"We need to work as quickly as possible to bring this bill back to the Governor's desk, and position Atlantic City to become the Silicon Valley of the high-tech gaming sector," he explained.

"New Jersey can still become the first state in the nation to offer legalized Internet wagering, and by leading the way, we position the Garden State to reap the benefits of getting in on the ground floor of a multi-million dollar market."

You can read more in our feature on New Jersey and exclusive interview with Senator Lesniak on our next news.
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