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Online Gambling Bill In New Jersey Goes Before Senators Today

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Atlantic City casinos have been searching for several years for ways to revamp a struggling gaming industry. After years of being unsuccessful, it may now be lawmakers' turn to try their luck. Today, senators will have the future of the state's gaming industry in their hands.

tourism is one of the biggest money-makers in Atlantic City and for decades AC casinos have been one of the top tourist attractions in the nation. One of the bills being voted on today would create a state-run tourism district in Atlantic City.

If the bill passes, the state would then be in charge of promotions and dealing with all aspects of tourism. That would be a major change considering it has been the casinos that for so long have set the rules as far as tourism.

Speaking of rules, two other pieces of legislation that senators will vote on would overhaul the regulation process in Atlantic City. If approved, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority would oversee the tourism district. As for the regulations, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement would take over. That would almost assure that licensing regulations are loosened.

One of the biggest fears of those opposed to these changes is that Atlantic City would become the Las Vegas of the East Coast, with eased licensing regulations and less oversight. To some legislators, those changes would be beneficial to the gaming industry.

AC casinos do not have much choice but to go along with the overhaul plans. Each month, the casinos are losing more customers to Pennsylvania, Delaware, and now even Maryland. In order to keep their place as the top gaming destination in the East, changes have to be made, and the casino owners understand the stakes.

Another major bill up for a vote today regards online gambling. If S-490 passes, New Jersey would become a ground-breaker in the US by becoming the first state to regulate online gambling. Residents in other states would not be allowed to bet at online casinos regulated in New Jersey.

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