Nevada Governor Sins Online Gambling Bill, New Jersey Next
It is now official, Nevada has become the first state in the US to officially have their governor sign online gambling regulation legislation. Governor Brian Sandoval signed the Internet gambling bill on Thursday. The bill had previously passed both the House and the Senate in Nevada.
The news comes as experts believe that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will do the same in the coming days. Christie vetoed two online gambling bills over the past three years, but remarked after vetoing the last bill that he would sign the legislation if it was amended.
Lawmakers in New Jersey, led by Senator Raymond Lesniak, quickly went to work on the amendments, and Nevada lawmakers grew weary that New Jersey may beat Nevada to the punch with online casinos. The threat of New Jersey getting to the finish line quicker than Nevada prompted Sandoval to finally sign the bill legislators had passed months before.
"This is an historic day for the great state of Nevada," said Sandoval. "Today I sign into law the framework that will usher in the next frontier of gambling in Nevada. This bill is critical to our state's economy and ensures that we will continue to be the gold standard for gaming regulation."
That Sandoval, a Republican, signed the bill, gave hope to Senator Harry Reid, who has been the driving force behind federal law changes regarding Internet gambling. In recent years, Conservative politicians have softened their stance on the issue as millions of Americans have voiced their displeasure with the online gambling prohibition in the country.
The Nevada and New Jersey gaming rivalry has eased over the past decade, as both states have faced increased competition from neighboring states that have regulated casinos. Nevada remains the top gaming destination in the US, with New Jersey falling to third behind both Nevada and Pennsylvania. Still, the rivalry that once existed was on display after Sandoval signed the Nevada bill last week
"As to our top competitor, New Jersey, they should be accustomed to following Nevada," said House Majority Leader William Horne.