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Time Running Out for New Jersey Internet Gambling Law

If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie chooses not to sign the pending online gambling bill into law 45 days after it was passed by the congress — and that was back on January 10 — then it becomes a law without his signature. (That’s if he doesn’t veto it instead.)

That seems to be his plan, at this point: Not openly endorsing online gambling, but not rejecting it, either.

Because rejecting the online gambling law — and its goal to strengthen New Jersey’s home gambling industry — has never been more important for the Garden State.

In fact, gambling in Atlantic City fell a huge 13 percent in January, reports Bloomberg. And that’s just the latest bad news in four years of economic decline.

Jersey’s betting proceeds “shrank to $255.4 million,” writes Beth Jinks as Bloomberg. “Slot machine revenue at the 11 casinos slid 16 percent from a year earlier to $164.9 million, and table game winnings were down 8.3 percent to $90.5 million.”

Even worse, the state now faces renewed competition from other nearby states. Pennsylvania and New York have added slot machines to their states in recent years; in Pennsylvania, land-based casino revenues were up from $35.7 million per week last year to $43.2 million this year, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

So if New Jersey governor Christie wants to get in on the online gambling action before California or Nevada beats it to the punch, he really couldn’t ask for a more economically agreeable time.