New Jersey’s Dream Of Becoming A Global Online Gambling Hub Gets Closer
We reported last year on Sen. Ray Lesniak’s intention to introduce a bill that would allow New Jersey online gambling operators to take international bets. At the time Lesniak was quoted as saying he wanted New Jersey to become the Mecca of online gambling. Many thought this idea was slightly far-fetched but this vision came close to approval on Monday. The state government, Wagering, Tourism and Preservation Committee approved the bill which Sen. Lesniak sponsored. The ambitious plan behind the bill is to entice international gambling companies to shift their operations to Atlantic City.
Lesniak believes that New Jersey can become a global hub for online gambling. He said,” This could help make New Jersey the leader in online gaming, across the country and around the world. We could be the ‘Silicon Valley’ for high-tech gaming. We should take advantage of this dynamic opportunity for a business sector with enormous growth potential.”
In terms of the bill foreign firms will have to comply with U.S. gambling laws and thus no bets could be taken from anywhere within the U.S. They would also be subject to the same 15 percent tax that New Jersey’s casinos play on online revenues.
In an effort to rejuvenate New Jersey’s struggling horse racing industry the international firms will also have to contribute to an annual $20 million fun for three years aimed at sustaining the industry.
Despite over 250,000 online gambling accounts having being created in New Jersey since their November launch revenues have only amounted to about $20 million in the first two months of the year. While this is understandable as online gambling in New Jersey is still in its early stages, the possibility of attracting global gambling companies could be a game changer for the Garden State.
Many supporters of the bill like former mayor of Atlantic City, Jim Whelan believe that New Jersey is ideally poised to expand its casino business on a global scale due to their secure and regulated infrastructure. We will follow this development with interest as if it is approved it will certainly silence the critics who believe Gov. Chris Christie exaggerated the earning potential of online gambling in New Jersey.