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New Jersey Senate OK’s Online Gambling Bill

New Jersey took one step closer to becoming the Silicon Valley of Internet Gambling when the State Senate approved a bill allowing casinos to offer online gambling.

Under the terms of the Jersey bill, Atlantic City casinos will be able to offer online versions of any game they offer in their land-based casinos. That’s a big difference from gambling bills in other states, including Nevada, that only allow online poker.

Lawmakers are hoping that igaming will not only boost sagging revenues in AC, but draw business from other states as well. Over the past few years, Garden State gaming has suffered from competition in neighboring states such as Pennsylvania.

Getting ahead on igaming legislation like this gives NJ a chance to enter into interstate gaming compacts with states that aren’t as interested in building a gambling infrastructure.

As part of that big picture outlook, the Jersey bill allows for licensing of outside entities who don’t own AC casinos to team up with them nonetheless. That means a stream of partnerships between the big names in igaming and Atlantic City casinos is almost certainly in the works.

Lawmakers will start work on regulatory framework in February, but there’s no word on when actual Internet gambling will start up.

Do you think New Jersey has a shot at becoming a major igaming hub? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.