Lesniak Floats Idea for Bill to Open New Jersey’s Online Gambling Borders

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The New Jersey online gambling market is on the rise, and a state senator wants other states and countries join in their fun. Democratic Sen. Raymond Lesniak told reporters on Wednesday that he is preparing to introduce a bill that would open up New Jersey’s online gambling borders to other jurisdictions where such activity is legal. This could have a big impact on online poker liquidity.

New Jersey’s internet casinos have generated more than $600 million in revenue since the state legalized online gambling in November 2013. The Garden State has collected more than $20 million from its online casinos the past four reported months. (July’s figures have yet to be released.)

The internet gambling industry has been a great asset to the casino-friendly state. In recent months, Atlantic City’s land-based casinos have reported increased revenue, and Lesniak credits online gaming as key to their rebound.

Who Wants In?

Now that New Jersey’s online gambling market is thriving, Lesniak wants other jurisdictions to join the party. He’s prepared to propose a bill in the state senate that would allow other states and countries to pool their players together with those residing in the Garden State and share in the profits.

There is a purpose to Lesniak’s soon-to-be proposed measure. The longtime liberal state senator told USNews.com he wants to transform New Jersey into the “Silicon Valley of internet gambling.”

Lesniak proposes only jurisdictions with legalized online gambling could partner with New Jersey. Nevada and Delaware are the only two places in the United States that would be eligible, though he says he has eye on Pennsylvania and other states considering online gambling legalization.

Another aspect of his proposal is to permit foreign internet gambling companies to operate in New Jersey. Currently, state law requires regulated gambling site servers to be based in Atlantic City. Lesniak wants to remove that stipulation to allow international operators to pool their players with New Jersey gambling sites.

“Online gaming has helped Atlantic City to revive its casino sector with a success that we can expand in ways that will generate more revenue, create jobs and fuel technological innovation in gaming,” he said.

Expandable Poker Action

The overall internet gambling industry in New Jersey has been a success. Online casino revenue has helped grow the economy and sparked life back into Atlantic City’s struggling tourism industry. But online poker hasn’t fared well in recent months.

At the end of June, the state had raked in $12.58 million for the year from online poker, down 8.4 percent compared to 2016.

Nevada and Delaware already have player-sharing agreements in place. For New Jersey to join in this effort, it could have quite the positive impact on poker. Tapping into other markets could help New Jersey generate additional poker revenue, and generally keep more players at its virtual tables, giving the state’s poker industry a boost.

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