It took a while to get everything sorted out but New Jersey has finally passed the law to allow online gambling within the state and the battle against Nevada has just got a bit more intense. The large state is now the third one to offer online poker after Delaware and Nevada but the much larger population of New Jersey quickly gives it an advantage for gambling operators.
To make things even better, the bill doesn’t just allow online poker on the internet (like Nevada) but all the casino games that can now be found in the Atlantic City casinos. Big names were already making the required preparations to enter the market once the doors were starting to open. Most notably, PokerStars is in the process of buying a casino on the boardwalk in order to be eligible for an online gambling license within New Jersey.
More news from the online poker industry is that Ivey’s site is getting closer to being launched with the recent purchase of Leggo Poker. Phil Ivey is one of the best poker players in the world and he is working on a site that will offer tutorials on the game to regular users from other poker pros.
Revised bill stamped in just a few minutes
Earlier this month, Gov. Chris Christie was given a similar online gambling bill which he gave a conditional veto. With the requirements actually being much milder than what most people were expecting, it didn’t take long for the bill to get the needed revisions. According to the latest casino news, the state of Nevada has become the first state to officially approve intrastate gambling last week, on Thursday, after the bill was rushed through the legal process at an amazing pace. It would seem that Christie was determined to be even faster and gave the bill his official stamp just a few minutes after the legislators for the joint session cast their votes. With everyone grouped into one room, the bill was turned into law after it was approved by a 68-5-1 vote.
Long way to go
Although the bill has passed, there is still some way to go and the Division of Gaming Enforcement now has to set up the regulations which will have to be followed and issue out the licenses to deserving operators. Only the companies that now hold casino licenses in New Jersey will be able to require an online license from the DGE but there is always the possibility of other operators to create partnerships with local casinos owners, as long as the software passes inspection.
The first signs of online gambling will become available after at least 90 days according to the terms of the law and in less than 180 days since the bill was passed. It is expected for the summer tourism season to have another attraction this year. Caesars Entertainment, which operates three casinos in Atlantic City, stated that it might take around two years before the online gambling industry in New Jersey actually gets going.
If things will be similar to the situation found in Nevada, the two-year term is quite realistic. Despite the fact that Nevada has issued the licenses last year and the first online poker offers were expected to be available by the end of 2012, a large part of the operators has requested an extension due to big delays.
As more states are likely to follow in the footsteps of New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, there is a big battle going on to determine the dominant hub for the future online poker network in the United States. With a population of almost 9 million people in New Jersey and the surrounding big states such as Pennsylvania and New York that can offer nice traffic of players, it is pretty clear which of the three states has the advantage here and can also do very well solo.