Gambling legalization bills in California, Delaware and New Jersey are making news this week as cash strapped state governments get serious about gaming as a source of revenue.

In Delaware and California, bills legalizing various forms of online gaming and sports betting are picking up steam as they move through the legislative process. Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the move to legalize sports betting Atlantic City casinos has hit an unforeseen snag. Here are all the latest details.

Delaware Online Gambling

The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 will legalize online table games in the state and allow bars and restaurants to sell Keno tickets and sports betting parlay cards. (Remember Delaware was grandfathered into legal sports betting.)

If passed by the full House and Senate, the bill will allow the state’s three casinos to start offering online gambling right away.

Want to find out more about New Jersey’s sports betting battle? Check out Chris Christie Promises Legal Sports Betting by 2012

California Sports Betting Bill

In the California State Senate, SB 1390, which allows casinos and horse tracks to offer sports betting if a Federal ban is lifted, just made its way out of committee and is slowly moving its way toward the House. This bill is very similar to the one recently passed in New Jersey but with one exception.

California state officials do not plan on fighting the Federal Government on the issue. They’re content to let New Jersey do the heavy lifting in court, they just want a mechanism in place if Chris Christie and company come out on top.

The stakes are very high for California since millions of dollars flow out of the state to Las Vegas and northern Nevada sports books every year. Cash-strapped Cali would love to have a chunk of that action back and that’s what this bill is all about.

Of course the future of sports betting in California is dependent on events in New Jersey, which are anything but clear.

New Jersey Sports Betting

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently said the state would go ahead with legal sports betting in the fall and, ““If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us.” We like Christie’s chutzpah but there’s just one problem, no casino is interested in becoming a test case for his grand experiment.

So far, not a single casino has agreed to offer sports betting until the Federal ban is lifted, and who can blame them? After all, the Feds could shut the whole thing down, and even penalize their operations in other states. Not many gaming companies seem likely to take those odds.

This story is far from done and we’ll be covering it as it develops right here on CAP.

What do you think of the flurry of activity around gaming legalization? Share your thoughts with us on our Online Gambling Laws and Regulations Forum.


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