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Lesniak Bill Would Allow Internet Wagering At Atlantic City Casinos

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak, which would authorize Internet wagering at Atlantic City casinos, was approved today by the Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, by a vote of 3 to 1. According to fiscal consultants, the introduction of Internet gaming would generate an additional $275-$335 million a year in gaming wins to Atlantic City, as well as 2,100-2,400 jobs. Internet gaming would also generate between $60 and $70 million per year in tax revenues to the State.

“As the gaming community continues to change, it is imperative that Atlantic City remain competitive,” said Senator Lesniak, D-Union. “Within recent years, our gaming industry has seen competition from neighboring states – the likes of which we have never had to deal with. By allowing Internet wagering, we would be stepping out into new territory, in an effort to make sure that New Jersey remains in the forefront of the gaming industry.”

Under Senator Lesniak’s bill, S-490, all games that are played at Atlantic City casinos may also be offered through Internet wagering. The bill would also permit the Casino Control Commission to establish a Division of Internet Wagering to delegate authority for the administration of Internet wagering conducted by licensed casinos.

Casinos would be required to receive a valid operation permit from the Commission before offering Internet wagering to the public. Each permit would be valid for one year, and would only be awarded once the Commission has determined that the casino is in compliance with the statutory and regulatory Internet wagering provisions. Casinos would also be responsible for implementing the necessary management controls and security precautions for the efficient operation of Internet wagering. Casinos would be required to submit their gaming software and other Internet wagering equipment to the Division to ensure compliance with technical standards. Permit holders would be charged an annual fee of $100,000, which would go toward programs to prevent compulsive gambling.

“The reality is that a large part of the growth and expansion of New Jersey’s economy relies on the success of Atlantic City’s gaming industry. Allowing Internet wagering would increase the volume of business that comes into our casinos, and make sure that we are able to maintain our position as a leader in the region’s gaming industry,” Senator Lesniak said.

This measure now heads to the full Senate for approval. #

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