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New Jersey Senate okays mobile gambling, online bill will have to wait until fall

TAGs: chris christie, New Jersey Online Gambling, Ray Lesniak

new-jersey-mobile-online-gambling-billOn Thursday, the New Jersey state Senate approved a bill authorizing gamblers to use mobile devices on the grounds of Atlantic City casinos, such as poolside and in their hotel rooms. The Assembly will now consider the legislation, although no vote has yet been scheduled. A similar system is already up and running in Las Vegas casinos, powered by Cantor Gaming technology. Sen. James Whelan, former mayor of AC, told the Associated Press that mobile betting would appeal to visitors “more interested in the resort side of the casino experience.”

Progress hasn’t been as positive for the NJ Senate’s online gambling bill. Sen. Ray Lesniak, who had been pimping May 31 as the day the Senate would approve the measure, now says the legislation isn’t likely to be passed until this fall. Lesniak told PokerNews that the delay was due in part to Gov. Chris Christie’s “ambivalence” on the issue. Combined with Christie “sending messages that he doesn’t want it to go through until the fall, we’re having trouble getting enough Democratic votes to pass it because of opposition from the racing industry.” Lesniak said the bill’s backers will continue to push until the end of June to see if (a) Christie comes around or (b) enough spineless Dem votes can be lined up to pass the bugger.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking in Illinois, where politicians are rushing like mad to get their affairs in order before the current legislative session ends midnight Thursday. So far, there’s little sign of any movement on the state’s HB4148 online gambling legislation, but they did get around to passing a $3-per-patron head tax on strip clubs. Priorities…

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