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Senate Committee Approves Online Gambling Bill In New Jersey

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New Jersey lawmakers have been moving quickly on a bill that would make the state the first to regulate online gambling in the US. On Monday, the Senate Budget Committee approved the legislation, paving the way for the bill to move along in the state legislature.

Senator Ray Lesniak has been the driving force behind online gambling expansion in New Jersey. With state race tracks and Atlantic City casinos struggling, Lesniak has introduced legislation that would help both industries out with millions of dollars in increased revenue.

The online gambling rooms would only be allowed to offer their services to customers within the state of New Jersey. They have added that wrinkle to the law in order to steer clear of possible problems at the federal level. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was created in 2006 to try and stall online gambling growth in the US.

The law, however, has been a major failure so far, and legislators have been looking to have the UIGEA overturned. Individual states have decided that it may be time to take Internet gambling laws into their own hands. In addition to New Jersey, Florida and California lawmakers have also discussed possible online poker regulations.

Online poker has become one of the most popular entertainment forms in the US. Millions of Americans are currently playing poker online, but all must do so at foreign gaming sites. Representative Barney Frank is seeking to change the current laws in order to license companies within the US.

Currently, the state horse racing industry receives a $30 million annual subsidy from Atlantic City casinos. That $30 million would be eliminated, but it would be replaced by at least the same amount from the online gambling revenue. The amendment has the support of many senators, and Governor Christie is currently looking into the legislation.

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