The race to become the first state offering legal online poker in the United State is on and New Jersey is giving everyone a serious run for their money. Earlier this month, a New Jersey Senate committee approved a bill authorizing Internet gambling in the Garden State.
This move is just the latest in a flurry of activity as New Jersey presses forward in its attempt to become the Silicon Valley of Internet gambling. But does Jersey really have a chance at becoming the first, and biggest state in the American online poker market?
Watch Out for Nevada
Jersey’s biggest foe in the race for online poker is a pretty formidable one, Nevada. Nevada is moving rapidly towards this goal and most industry insiders think they should be up and running by the end of the year.
Unlike New Jersey, gaming legislation in Nevada hasn’t run into any hurdles and big corporations like Caesars are already well into the the licensing process.
It’s very likely that poker refugees will take up residence in gambler friendly Nevada. Thanks to the real estate crash of 2008, housing prices in the Silver State are dirt cheap and Nevada does not have a state income tax.
Watch Out for Pennsylvania, Too
New Jersey’s efforts at bringing online gambling, and sports betting, to the state are an open attempt to shore up weak revenues in Atlantic City. But how big will intrastate online poker really be? After all, poker is already legal there.
Atlantic City’s biggest problem is that legal gaming in nearby Pennsylvania has siphoned on much of their business.
Should online gaming start moving money the other direction, don’t be surprised if Pennsylvania offers up its own version of online gaming. Pennsylvania already offers online wagering for horse races and has been somewhat gaming friendly in the past.
Silicon Valley? Probably Not
While Internet gaming could raise revenues for the New Jersey state coffers, the state’s dreams of becoming the Silicon Valley of iGaming seem pretty far fetched. After all, this is the same place that’s seriously struggling with land based gaming.
What do you think of New Jersey’s chances of becoming an iGaming power house? Let us know on our Online Gambling Laws and Regulations Forum.