Page updated April 5, 2012. Additional information covering a recent voters’ referendum on legalized sports betting at Atlantic City casinos is coming soon.
A bill to license and regulate internet gambling within the territorial borders of New Jersey has been voted favorably in two committees of the state’s Senate. Senate Bill 1565 was approved first by the Senate’s State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee on March 5, 2012 (vote was 3-0 with 2 abstaining), and then by the Senate’s Budget and Appropriations Committee on April 3, 2012 (vote was 11-0 with 1 abstaining and 1 not voting).
Sponsored by Senators Raymond Lesniak and Jim Whelan, S1565 is very similar to a bill that moved swiftly and easily through the legislature last year but failed to become enacted after Governor Chris Christie refused to sign it. In recent weeks there has been much speculation in both industry journals and mainstream media as to whether Governor Christie might now be ready to sign an internet gambling bill, but his office has not issued a statement on the matter.
No action on S1565 has been scheduled on the floor of the Senate yet, but a vote seems certain.
Eligible license applicants
The only entities that would be able to operate internet gambling under S1565 are licensed Atlantic City casinos. Operators would be required to locate all equipment for conducting internet wagering in a secure location in Atlantic City.
S1565 would enable licensed Atlantic City casinos to operate all of the same games on the internet that they operate in their brick-and-mortar casinos.
Taxes and fees
Operators would be taxed at10% of gross revenues from internet wagering. This compares to an 8% tax on gross revenues from brick-and-mortar operations.
The initial license fee would be at least $200,000 and then subsequent annual renewal fees would be $100,000.
New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement would be responsible for recommending internet wagering regulations to New Jersey’s Gaming Control Commission. Additionally, the Division of Gaming Enforcement would create an Office of Internet Wagering to perform duties related to internet gambling regulation.
See also: statement of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism, and Preservation Committee (a document which explains the most significant details of S1565 in simplified language).