Online gambling legislation in New Jersey is moving ahead at a fast pace. In April the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee passed some online gambling legislation, and the New Jersey State Assembly has now passed a similar bill.
A number of lawmakers and gambling industry leaders in New Jersey feel it is extremely important that their state be the first to legalize online gambling, especially ahead of some of the competition, such as Nevada, Iowa, and California.
Brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City are operating at greatly reduced incomes at this time, having shown much reduced revenue over the past three years, at least in 35 months out of the 36 months. Senator Ray Lesniak is amongst a number of other lawmakers who feel that legalizing online gambling in New Jersey will save the ailing land based industry.
Robert Griffin, the president of the Casino Association of New Jersey, read a prepared statement that noted that the Casino Association of New Jersey "strongly supports" online wagering, as long as it comes with the protection of consumers. The statement noted that the current pending legislation fulfills the objectives of the Casino Association. He explained that the Atlantic City casinos will be strengthened if the current online gambling bill is passed into law. The statement also noted that the state of New Jersey would also benefit because of increased taxation revenue, rather than the "profits and jobs to go illegally overseas." Robert Griffin has urged the New Jersey lawmakers to consider this and to pass the current online gambling bill, bearing in mind that the current proposal for online betting will be more profitable for the state than the current accepted forms of wagering.
Apart from taxation, there will be licensing fees collected from the online casinos and other online gambling sites, should online gambling be legalized in New Jersey. The first year of operations will come with a licensing fee of $200,000, and the licensing renewal cost for the next year will be set at $100,000. These licensing fees would send funds in the direction of programs to aid those with gambling problems.
New York state might soon be opening seven land based casinos. Should this take place, it will further affect the Atlantic City brick and mortar casinos in a negative way, taking even more potential customers away from the Atlantic City casinos.
The main objections to the new online gambling legislation comes from those involved in the ailing horseracing sector.