The vote wasn’t even close. I’m sure some of the voters must have put a “hell yes” on the ballot, because on Monday, the Senate voted 29 to 5 in favor of legislation that authorizes Atlantic City casinos to offer intrastate online gaming to New Jersey residents, as well as to consumers in regulated international markets.
Very noteworthy in all of this is that no Republicans voted against the bill in either house. The bill also included a bill that would allow a casino to open with as few as 200 hotel rooms, down from the current 500-room minimum, and about a tenth of the 2,000 rooms that the city’s most successful casinos offer, to boost the rise of smaller casinos. he bill also provides for a second new casino to initially open with 200 rooms, and expand to 500 rooms within five years. The Seminole tribe of Florida, through its Hard Rock franchise, plans to build such a casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk if the bill becomes law.
It should be interesting to see how all of this plays out. It’s interesting that the state would allow foreign residents to gamble on their sites, considering the fact that the opposite is strictly prohibited in the United States under the UIGEA. But this is not the time to get into that, thumbs up on the progress of the bill and Senator Lesniak’s efforts thus far. Lesniak felt confident this process would be a done deal by the end of the year.
The next step is getting Gov. Chris Christie to sign off on it.