New Jersey Online Gambling Bill Passes Assembly… Again

new-jerseyWhen at first you don’t succeed, reintroduce another online-gambling bill.  That’s the working motto for New Jersey State Sen. Ray Lesniak, whose latest edition of the New Jersey bill that would regulate several forms of online gambling, including poker, passed its first hurdle yesterday.

Assembly Bill A2578 cleared a full Assembly vote on a 48-24 tally, with four abstentions, and is expected to move on to a full vote on Thursday in the New Jersey Senate, where Lesniak asserts he already has the votes lined up for passage.

We’ll assume that he does, just like last time, and that by week’s end the bill will end up where the last one did, in the year-end bill pile on Governor Chris Christie’s desk, hiding underneath the holiday chocolates.  The last time the bill ended up there, the Ferraro Roches obscured the bill, Christie forgot to sign it, and a technical veto ensued.

Or something like that.  (Actually, Christie has some technical objections over certain sections of the measure.)

This time out, the bill is almost exactly the same, and it faces the exact same prospects, meaning the holiday whims of Governor Christie and a state legislature that may or not override a possible Christie veto, if he indeed chose that option.

Prospects are slightly more favorable this time out, however, since two other states (Nevada and Delaware) have since forged ahead with their own state-level online plans; that becomes three if you include Illinois’ online sales.  And New Jersey itself is in more desperate financial straits, and if you also consider its ongoing legal actions to open up the state to betting on sports, it’s pretty clear it’s “line in the sand” time.

All that adds up to a generally favorable outlook for this bill, this time around.

While the bill gets reviewed again – take time to play at now!

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