Details of the Bill
Lesniak, a liberal Democrat from Union who is a great supporter of New Jersey’s casino industry, was the driving force behind legislation that made online gambling legal last year for Garden State residents. Now he wants to expand that opportunity to residents of other countries, but with several caveats. Any company licensed by the state will have to actually have computer servers located in Atlantic City. They would also have to keep detailed records about customers’ gambling activities online, including time spent, games played and amounts gambled, won and lost. According to the bill, casino games that will be allowed are limited to roulette, baccarat, blackjack, craps, big six wheel, slot machines, mini-baccarat, red dog, pai gow, and sic bo. Noticeably absent from the list are bingo, keno and sports betting.
“This could make New Jersey the leader in online gaming,” Lesniak said. “We are well-positioned to take advantage of a dynamic opportunity to be at the hub of a new business sector with the potential for economic growth and job creation. We offer the stability and security of a regulated marketplace, we have an educated workforce and a high-tech infrastructure. New Jersey could be a global destination for Internet gaming.”
Approval from Infamous NJDGE Required
Companies seeking international wagering licenses from the state will be vetted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), the state regulatory body which oversees the state’s approximately one dozen casinos that are based in Atlantic City, the only municipality in the state allowing land-based casinos. The NJDGE will also make the final decision on which companies receive licenses.
Licensees, according to the bill, “must comply with tax laws and regulations applicable to each jurisdiction in which they provide restricted foreign Internet wagering services–failure to comply with these obligations shall lead to immediate suspension or revocation of a restricted foreign Internet wagering license, at the discretion of the Division of Gaming Enforcement.” If the bill becomes law, it could be a boon to the Garden State’s overall economy. One consulting firm estimated that as much as $7 billion a year could be realized by the state from international online gambling.