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Pennsylvania Sent Reeling By New Jersey's Latest Gambling Move

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Pennsylvania was like an up and coming sports team that has taken their lumps, and was finally ready to stake their claim to a title. Much like in sports, however, the champion, in this case New Jersey, threw a punch that staggered the challenger.

The gaming industry in the Northeast has changed drastically over the past couple of years, with Pennsylvania making a strong push to become the top destination in the region. Last year, when Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a bill that legalized table games, it only figured to pull more customers from Atlantic City casinos, and it did.

On Monday, New Jersey legislators came back in a way that nobody thought possible. The lawmakers ignored federal laws regarding online gambling, and passed a bill that will bring blackjack, slots, and many other casino games to the comfort of gamblers' homes in the state. It was the type return punch that may take years for Pennsylvania to regroup.

There is little doubt that Pennsylvania had the momentum. New casinos had been opened in recent years, and their gaming industry is thriving at a time when Atlantic City casinos are all flirting with bankruptcy. New Jersey lawmakers knew they had to act quickly to help their famed gaming industry, and they did just that.

The legislation passed Monday will not only change the future of gambling in the Northeast, but most likely the entire nation. California legislators have a bill on the table to regulate online poker, and now that New Jersey has taken the bold move to be the first into the industry, the risk is not as great as it was Sunday for California.

Pennsylvania, meanwhile, is left to wonder how they came so close to overtaking New Jersey, but fell short. If the legislation passage Monday was any indication, New Jersey is not ready to give that throne up just yet. Add in the fact that New Jersey will also likely soon add sports betting for their casinos, and it appears as though Pennsylvania's run at the top will be short-lived.

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