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Christie To Set Online Gaming Precedent?


Published: March 2, 2011 11:30 am ET

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has until Thursday, March 3 to either veto or sign legislation which would make it legal for in-state casino operators to run online gaming websites for residents of the state -- also known as 'intra-state gambing.' All reports indicate that he is holding his cards close to his chest on the issue.

An article by The Wall Street Journal has quoted Anthony Cabot, an expert in internet gambling law, as saying that once a U.S. state passes a law legalizing online gaming, "you will see other states go 'aha.' It will spread very rapidly."

The report states that Iowa, California and Florida are among other states considering similar bills.

If Gov. Christie ends up signing the online gaming bill, a good portion of the revenues taken in from the venture would be funneled to the state's horse racing industry.

The article explains that some gambling interests -- notably some offshore internet companies, some casinos and some Indian tribes -- oppose the state-by-state approach to legalizing online gambling, and are looking to a change the federal laws against online gaming.

The report explains that Gov. Christie could sign the bill, veto the bill, or send it back to the legislature with changes. If the measure is to ultimately be decided by state residents via referendum, the possibility of legalized intra-state online gaming will apparently become a little slimmer. The article states that results of a poll determined that 67 per cent of New Jersey residents polled on the matter were against legalization.

(With files from The Wall Street Journal)

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