In an effort to revitalize Atlantic City, Governor Chris Christie signed a bill Tuesday which makes New Jersey only the third state in the country (behind Delaware and Nevada) to have passed a law to legalize online gambling.
This law has the potential to significantly change the financial landscape in New Jersey as all online winnings will be taxed at a rate of 15%. The law will allow people to set up accounts with NJ casinos and each casino will run its own website to take bets on games like poker, blackjack and slots.
The new bill will be given a ten year trial period. Governor Christie is confident that the new bill will bring a “responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole.”
The casinos in Atlantic City are excited about the proposal because it will attract new gamblers to visit the casino by earning complimentary rewards such as free hotel stays, free meals and tickets to shows. The new bill is slated to go into effect in 3-9 months. The bill contains a provisions to open doors for a larger network of gambling with other states in the future. This will allow New Jersey to act as a hub for gambling with other states that would like to create an interstate agreement with New Jersey.
The law also requires the online gamblers to be physically present in New Jersey, which regulators can verify through GPS technology tracking software. The reason for this stipulation is that gambling in essence implicates contract law and that each wager that is made is an implied contract with the casino or dealer. For New Jersey to properly regulate the matter, having the dealer and gambler physically present within the state will allow New Jersey to exercise jurisdiction.
The law requires a person to be 21 years of age to gamble online in New Jersey. Underage gambling at a casino is considered a disorderly persons offense and can include a fine as high as $1,000 with a mandatory six-month driver’s license suspension. The legal age for other forms of gambling such as the lottery is 18 years of age.