Covered by the Wall Street Journal earlier today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a revised bill today that makes online gambling completely legal for New Jersey’s nine million residents. The language of the bill requires casinos to check the physical location of each New Jersey resident before actually taking a bet. Bets could be placed by mobile devices like a smartphone or tablet as well as a desktop computer or laptop, assuming the location data checks out. In addition, this bill will allow New Jersey casinos to partner with overseas companies in regards to developing programs and systems for online gambling.
Regarding the decision to legalize online gambling, Governor Christie said “This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly. But with the proper regulatory framework and safeguards that I insisted on including in the bill, I am confident that we are offering a responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole.”
The state of New Jersey will now collect a 15 percent tax on online gambling within the state; up from a 10 percent tax rate. The move is expected to bring in approximately $400 million in revenue during the first year and could reach $600 million in revenue in coming years. The state currently collects between $200 million to $250 million per year from casinos within Atlantic City.
While Delaware and Nevada have already legalized online gambling, New Jersey has more than double the residents of those two states combined. While the financial benefits of online gambling will be extremely helpful for New Jersey, lawmakers have included a provision within the new bill that requires an annual review of the program over ten years in order to gauge the effect legalization has on problem gambling.