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NJ Assembly Approves Gambling Bills

Published: December 10, 2010 10:20 am ET

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"Today, the Assembly took a significant step forward to put Atlantic City and New Jersey's racetracks on a the fast track to economic recovery and fiscal stability."

According to, those words came from New Jersey Senator Jim Whelan on Thursday, December 9 as a legislative package aimed to enhance the state's casino gaming and horse racing industries by allowing internet gambling, exchange wagering, sports betting and promoting in-state racehorse breeding, was unanimously approved by an Assembly committee.

A synopsis of the bills which now move to the full Assembly for further action, as is follows:

  • Propose a constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature by law to allow wagering at Atlantic City casinos and at horse racetracks on sports events.
  • Establish the "Casino Gaming Study Commission," consisting of 13 public members, to evaluate the impact of all casino industry legislation and reforms enacted since the beginning of calendar year 2010, as well as recently enacted casino gaming statutory revisions, regulatory reforms and technological reforms and explore the future prospects for casino expansion to Bergen County.
  • Enable New Jersey residents to place wagers on Atlantic City casino games via the Internet.
  • Prohibit the state Motor Vehicle Commission from inspecting buses on casino-owned property and designated casino parking, pick-up, or drop-off locations.
  • Permit racetrack permit holders to provide for a single pari-mutuel pool for each running or harness horse race.
  • Authorize Internet account wagering for residents outside New Jersey on in-state horse races.
  • Improve and modernize casino industry regulation.
  • Establish a special dedicated fund in the Department of Law and Public Safety to provide incentives for the breeding and development of certain racehorses in this state.
  • Allow casinos and out-of-state racetracks to negotiate the amount casinos will pay for simulcast races.
  • Establish the Atlantic City Tourism District, broaden powers and duties of the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority and transfer the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority and its functions to the CRDA.

"The casino and horse racing industries are two backbones of New Jersey," said Assemblyman John Burzichelli, chair of the Assembly Regulatory and Oversight Committee, before the hearing began. "They create jobs and spark economic development in many, many ways, and we must ensure they remain strong and competitive economic engines for generations to come."

The bills now move to the floor for a full vote on Monday, December 13. The vote needs to be carried by 41 votes or more to then be passed onto Governor Christie, who then has 45 days to decide whether or not the bills wills be passed into law.

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