State Senator Raymond Lesniak has announced that he expects his bill to be approved in both houses and signed by Governor Chris Christie – all within the next couple of weeks. If the process unfolds as he says, New Jersey will become the first state to offer online gambling in the United States. Lesniak is confident that online poker will be played legally in his state by September 1, 2012.
As the first state to pass legislation to make internet gambling legal, New Jersey has been at the forefront of this push for a very long time. Along with the Garden State, Nevada is not far behind as it has also passed legislation and is currently accepting applications for online poker licenses.
“The race is on. There’s certainly room for two major states to regulate the industry and combine with other states. If we get there first or they get there first, we’ll both be operating. We expect New Jersey to be the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming in the country.”
As of now, a state senate panel has approved the bill. That being said, there is still one hang up: an assembly committee must still vote as they are concerned that the New Jersey constitution may need altered in order to clear the way for online gambling. However, Lesniak is not worried one bit. He expects that the committee will pass the legislation sometime in the next week.
It is obvious that Lesniak is concerned about other states following suit, which is why he has put so much time and effort into this change.
“It would be a lot easier for most other states to have a compact with us and do a profit-sharing agreement. Market share is very important in this business, and that’s why it’s important to be there first.”
Lesniak wants New Jersey to be first to the party and as of right his state clearly has the upper hand.