A New Jersey lawmaker introduced in late November a bill that, if passed by the state Legislature, would allow locally licensed iGaming operators to accept international players from countries where online gambling is legal.
In addition, the bill would scrap a previous provision in New Jersey’s existing gambling laws that operators must base their gaming services in Atlantic City in order to be allowed to operate in the state.
Senate Bill 3536 is authored by Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a long-time gambling expansion proponent and an active participant in the process of legalization of online gaming in the state. Word about his intention to propose changes in the existing iGaming regulations first spread in August, when the lawmaker announced that he was working on a bill and that he would introduce it by the end of that month.
However, it was not before late November that the legislative piece was actually introduced. Generally speaking, the bill proposes the amendment of the state’s current gambling regulations that would allow for online gaming equipment to be located outside Atlantic City. The move would pave the way for the creation of international online gaming liquidity.
At present, all the necessary equipment and servers need to be based at a casino in Atlantic City. In addition, players from anywhere outside New Jersey are absolutely prohibited from participating in any form of online gambling activity conducted within the state’s borders.
Sen. Lesniak has expressed optimism that a change in the status quo and a permission for international pooling as well as pooling between states where iGaming is legal would further boost the state’s online gambling sector
What Is Next for Sen. Lesniak’s Online Gambling Bill
Sen. Lesniak has previously announced that he would retire upon the end of the current legislative term. In other words, his bill will have up to January 9, 2018 to be passed by the Legislature. According to gambling analysts, the piece of legislation actually has serious chance to gain the necessary support from lawmakers before that date. It is also important to note that player pooling has been a move that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has long been lobbying for.
It was announced back in November that New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, which were, at the time, the only three states where online gambling was legal, had signed a shared online poker liquidity compact that would allow for online poker operators to merge their pools in the three states. The move was undertaken as part gambling regulators’ attempts to revitalize the game of poker, particularly in Nevada and Delaware, where it has seen continued drop in revenue for the past years. The shared liquidity project is intended to make it possible for players to participate in larger pools and win bigger prizes for their participation.
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