Nice to see some PR from a mainstream (well, at least not gambling) site. Check out this piece from aol on the status of intrastate poker legislation. Note the underlying current of disdain (perhaps I’m reading something into it that’s not there, but it’s fun to imagine) the article takes when discussing that the Federal government is dragging its heels on reform measure.
Tag: New Jersey
Iowa has taken another step toward becoming the first state to legalize online intrastate poker. The Iowa legislation has moved out of committee by a 9-6 vote (not exactly overwhelming support though) and now will be heard by the full state Senate. The fate of the bill likely will not be known for some time, but this is welcomed news after New Jersey’s mildly surprising decision to pull the plug (for now) on its intrastate poker efforts.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed legislation that would have made NJ the first state to legalize intrastate online poker. He cited “legal and constitutional concerns” and supposedly was concerned with underage gambling and the possibility for back-room illegal gambling halls fronted by a handful of Internet-connected computers to spring up across the state. Gov. Christie is not known as one to shy away from hard choices or to play partisan politics, but I have to wonder whether talk of him having higher political aspirations coupled with his Republican affiliation influenced his decision. Another factor could have been the negative effect online poker could have on Atlantic City, given that Gov. Christie’s recently took control of the city and promised to reverse its economic swoon. Can’t imagine he’d want to do anything to hurt his chances for success with another election to win (assuming he does not run for President that is).
Regardless, the cause is not over. The NJ legislature could override the veto or the bill could be re-worked to address Christie’s concerns and re-submitted for consideration (though this takes time). Or maybe California passes legislation and NJ realized the errors of its ways and reverses course. Don’t place your bests on this though just yet.
There are rumblings in the poker legal community that due to New Jersey’s toe dragging, Florida may beat it to the poll in the race to be the first state to legalize intrastate online poker. Florida Rep. Joseph Abruzzo has introduced legislation to be heard on March 8th that, if passed, could be effective by July 2011. Come on now! Don’t be greedy. Florida already has legal brick-and-mortar poker all over the state. Now online poker in one of the most populated states in the country? This just isn’t fair. Spread the wealth.
Word is that due to intricate New Jersey rules, the deadline for Governor Christie to sign or veto the online intrastate poker legislation is March 3 (not late February as previously reported). Word also is that the biggest force lobbying against the legislation is Caesar’s, which views online poker as a thorn in its live poker/gambling coffers. Or, at the very least, wants to base its online operations out of a state other than New Jersey if federal legislation (or a tweaked NJ bill) is passed.
[Thanks to the ACweekly.com for some of this information.]
Updating perhaps the most interesting story taking shape these days in the poker legislation arena, as we reported on previously, Gov. Christie has until February 25th to veto legislation that would legalize online intrastate poker in New Jersey. If he fails to veto it, the bill becomes law. Even if he vetos it, the legislature can (and likely will) override the veto. The big issue is how involved Gov. Christie wants to be, both on behalf of New Jersey and in relation to his increasing national political visibility (read: the presidency). Bottom line my fellow poker playing ladies and gents, we’re 12 days removed from bottling our favorite New Jersey “garden” state jokes and hitting the MLS listings for Teaneck. As promised, we will continue to update this developing story (always wanted to write that) as, well, developments happen.
New Jersey — We’re still waiting for Gov. Christie’s signature…
Maryland — Legislation was introduced recently that would legalize live table games. The legislation would let the voters decide if they want the games or not.
Italy — Delays in enacting online gaming continue. But unlike in the U.S., there appears to be no doubt that gaming is coming. It’s just a matter of ironing out the wrinkles and getting the sites operational. Check out the developments here.
Governor Christie has yet to sign into law the recently-passed legislation that would make New Jersey the first state to legalize intrastate online poker. Updates from PLB will come as they occur.
Hot on the heels of the progress in New Jersey toward legalizing intrastate online poker, Nevada has hired a consulting firm to evaluate the considerations of Nevada passing its own legislation. I wonder it Nevada is concerned more about NJ or talk that its neighbor, California, which also already has legal live poker, too is considering legalizing the virtual kind. As I’ve said before here though kids, be careful what you wish for: what seems good today may seem like a horrid idea 20 years from now. Just imagine a world with 50 separate online poker bases but no cross-state competition. Does not sound like good games or player base growth to me. Don’t want to me a player hater, but just saying…
The New Jersey state assembly has passed a bill that would make online poker (and other casino gambling, though not sports gambling) legal if played by NJ residents on licensed sites. The measure already passed in the state Senate. The final hurdle before it becomes law is the receipt of Governor Christie’s signature. Observers predict — though this is a bit like reading tea leaves — that he will sign the bill given that to date he has not voiced his opposition to it (Gov. Christie is not one to mince words after all) and that NJ is severely strapped for cash. However, and this is pure speculation on my part, given Gov. Christie’s rumored interest in running for national office (read: the Presidency) on the historically conservative Republican ticket, he may not want to align himself with gamblers. My hunch is it passes. We should know more within 45 days. That’s the deadline by which he must veto the bill or it becomes law.
There are few interesting points about the legislation and its potential implementation. The law specifies that “all equipment used by a licensee to conduct Internet wagering…shall be located…within the territorial limits of Atlantic City.” It further specifies that “[a]ll Internet wagers shall be deemed to be placed when received in Atlantic City by the licensee.” In other words, AC now is the hub for the NJ Internet gambling scene. Could mean hundreds if not thousands of jobs and an influx of money into the depressed area. Running Internet sites is costly and demands many people — servers, tech support, customer support (stop laughing), and so forth. Exactly what Gov. Christie probably wants to revitalize AC now that the state has taken control of AC’s restoration — so yet another reason why he may sign the bill.
How this affects the current mega-sites (FTP, PS, etc.) is unclear, however. Allow me to offer few possibilities. The legislation could result in the sites pulling out of New Jersey like they did in Washington, fearful of legal repercussions. Then again they could keep operating in New Jersey and take their chances that NJ (which, unlike Washington, does not expressly criminalize online poker) will not enforce its turf and sue/arrest them claiming that the intrastate law means interstate poker sites are de facto illegal. Or, and all poker-playing NJ residents hope, the two sides create a mutually beneficial situation (the orange juice and orange peel example from college negotiations classes). For example, NJ could hire FTP or PS (or, more likely, a separate newly formed company) to be the intrastate operator and use the mega-site’s already developed software (with some tweaks of course). The state wins by quickly getting a world class site with robust software (read: immediate revenue) and the sites win by operating in a jurisdiction that otherwise may be closed to them. Bottom line is it’s too early to tell how this will play out, but it need not play out poorly for poker players.