New Jersey might be the first state in the USA to license and regulate online gambling. State Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced a bill to do just that. The bill S490 just passed in the states Senate Budget Committee and is now set to see a full debate in the state senate. The bill passed in committee by a 10-1 margin with only 2 senators abstaining. If this bill passes and is signed into law by Governor Christie all games that are currently allowed in land based casinos in Atlantic City would be available online to New Jersey residents. The state would plan on a 20% gross tax on all gaming revenue and each operator would have to pay a licensing fee. If this were to pass in New Jersey other states would be quick to follow and this could very well be the first step to seeing online gaming fully regulated and legal in the USA.
One interesting piece is that $30 million in revenue from this would be earmarked to go to racetracks. Senator Lesniak has written this bill to be very similar to the land based casino regulation with a provision that will make all operators provide real-time monitoring of all games. Additionally all software will have to be fully inspected and approved by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement for testing which will ensure fair play. This bill would also only allow online gambling for residents 21 years of age and older.
The bill is estimated to bring in upwards of $250 million a year in gross revenues which would give the state upwards of $50 million annually.