By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
New Jersey is poised to become the first state to legalize regulated internet gaming, but there are reports that Governor Chris Christie is having second thoughts about allowing the bill to become a law.
The Republican have until February 24th to veto the bill before it becomes official, and The New York Post is reporting that Christie is facing pressure from Caesar’s Entertainment, who own several casinos in Atlantic City.
According to the newspaper, which cites unnamed sources, Caesar’s is pushing for federal legislation rather than having states take control of regulating internet gaming.
Of course, the financial windfall for the state of New Jersey would be tremendous if the bill were allowed to become law. Online gaming revenue would be taxed at 23%, and the cash-strapped state could certainly use the infusion of income right now. It’s estimated that the state will take in $28 million in added revenue as a result of the bill.
The bill passed in both the State Senate and Assembly by significant margins, and Christie was thought to be a supporter, but lobbyists have recently been focusing their efforts on persuading the first-term governor to veto the bill. There may be other factors in play as well. Christie is rumored to be considering a run at the United States Presidency in 2012, and may not want to be linked to online gambling.
With California currently considering a similar bill, and other states anxious to get on board with regulated internet gaming, the result of the New Jersey bill is eagerly anticipated, and may signal the direction of online gaming for the future.
Residents of New Jersey and poker players concerned with the passage of this legislation may contact Governor Christie via his official webpage.
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