NJ Looking To Extend IGaming Reach Out Of State

October 30, 2013
New Jersey

You probably know that New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have all legalized online gambling. Nevada has decided to just offer online poker for now, and has already launched two websites which deliver Internet poker options to its state residents and visitors. New Jersey will be launching its Internet casino offerings on November 26, and Delaware is hoping for all treats and no tricks as that state launches Internet poker on Halloween. Those three states are definitely in the early stages of defining exactly how legalized casino and poker gambling will be offered in the United States, and are only able to do so since the US Department of Justice decided that Internet gambling should be a decision made at the state and not federal level.

California, Pennsylvania and other states are pushing hard to join the three ground breaking states, as nobody is questioning this will be a billion dollar industry. The only provision the DOJ set forth is that when a state legalizes some type of web gambling, it can only take place in that particular state’s boundaries. In other words, the physical infrastructure, web servers and Internet gamblers must all be located inside the physical confines of New Jersey to enjoy New Jersey online casino gambling. A move by the state recently showed that Garden State legislators are hoping to push the boundaries of the DOJ ruling, and extend its iGaming real money gambling reach out of state to nab more money.

Basically, NJ wants to make a deal with Nevada (and other states which eventually pass gambling-friendly legislation) that would make Atlantic City the hub for Internet gambling spread out across the United States. Since Nevada currently legally offers Internet poker through state run online casinos, New Jersey State Assemblyman John Amodeo would like to see the Silver State partner up with NJ in offering online gambling options. Since New Jersey claims a potential player pool from its 9 million residents, it could be persuasive in convincing Nevada (just 3 million residents) to reach an interstate compact which would make Atlantic City the center and controlling partner of a multistate online gambling operation.

The new law proposed by Amodeo would amend the current legislation which holds that Atlantic City is the required location for all Internet gambling hardware and software, and that the 12 Atlantic City brick-and-mortar casinos run the web operation. This new proposal calls for some operations governing online betting to be moved outside of New Jersey state lines, as long as the servers, the physical heart and soul of a website, remain in New Jersey. He says that he foresees letting “Las Vegas handle everything west of the Mississippi, and Atlantic City (handling) everything east of the Mississippi.” If his vision comes to fruition, it could dramatically influence the shaping of the legal online casino and legal online poker industry in the United States.

Interstate gambling pacts are certainly nothing new, and both New Jersey and Nevada have already passed legislation which simply requires those state governors to begin reaching agreements with other US states to offer online gambling options through a partnership. This new legal proposal would require a tricky interpretation of the Department of Justice ruling in 2011 which has allowed New Jersey, Delaware and Las Vegas to deliver Internet wagering in the first place. This aggressive move by New Jersey to crown itself the King of the burgeoning online gambling industry in the United States is likely to be the first of many moves attempted by the three cornerstone online gambling states in America to position themselves as the leader in a growing billion dollar industry.