Lawmakers are expected to concur with Gov. Chris Christie on changes he made to an Internet gambling bill, clearing the way Tuesday for the legislation to be signed.
If enacted, the legislation would make New Jersey the third state to offer some form of Internet gambling, behind Nevada and Delaware.
As part of Christie’s recommendations, the legislation would have a life of only 10 years, after which lawmakers must reauthorize the legislation for Internet gambling to continue.
Unlike gambling revenue won on the casino floors of Atlantic City, which is taxed at 8 percent, Internet gambling revenue would be taxed at 15 percent. All equipment, with the exception of temporary backups, would have to be located in an Atlantic City casino.
Assemblyman John Amodeo,cq R-Atlantic, said experts have predicted that in five years, Internet gambling revenue may reach as high as $1.2 billion.
New Jersey also would become only the second state to allow reciprocal agreements with other states that would allow residents of those states to place a wager on an Internet gambling system managed by an Atlantic City casino.
Nevada was the first such state — but only by about a week. Lawmakers there, who previously had authorized only online poker within the state, approved an Internet gambling bill Thursday that would allow companies to take online poker wagers from players outside Nevada.
Lawmakers said there was no competition between the two states, particularly because they are on opposite ends of the country.
“Our competition on this issue, frankly, is not Las Vegas,” said state Sen. Jim Whelancq, D-Atlantic. “It is the other jurisdictions on the East Coast.”
The gambling legislation includes ethical provisions, extending prohibitions on casino-related employment to Internet gambling licensees and affiliates and requiring elected officials to disclose their representation of entities seeking or holding Internet gambling licenses.
Compulsive gambling treatment programs also would be better funded under the revised legislation.
Unlike in Nevada, Atlantic City casinos would be able to offer the same games on the Internet as are played on their floors.
Chad Beynon, cqa senior analyst at New York City-based Macquarie Capital, said he would expect every Atlantic City casino to apply for an Internet gambling license because there is a value to having the capability of offering it.
“Everyone in the market should apply for it,” he said.
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