New Jersey Senate Committee Advances Bill to Extend Online Gambling

The New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee adopted legislation on Monday that would extend the legal use of online gambling by state casinos for another ten years, in a significant milestone. S-3075, the measure, seeks to keep internet gaming lawful in New Jersey until 2033, subject to final approval. If passed, the legislation is expected to reach Governor Phil Murphy’s desk for consideration before the end of the month.

State Senator Vince Polistina, the sponsor of the bill, highlighted the positive impact of online gambling on the struggling casino industry, particularly in Atlantic City, following the Great Recession. He stated, “The legalization of online gambling and sports betting was a catalyst for struggling casinos in the aftermath of the Great Recession. In places like Atlantic City, internet gaming has created a number of good paying jobs for workers as well as generating millions of dollars in tax revenues for the state.”

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Online gambling was first legalized in New Jersey in 2013, for a ten-year period that will end in November. The proposed legislation does not seek permanent legalization, but rather extends the legality of internet gambling by ten years until 2033.

Online casino gambling supporters believe that it has been a critical support for the Atlantic City casino industry, particularly during the economic closures imposed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Hilary Chebra, the Chamber of Commerce of Southern New Jersey’s manager of government relations, emphasized the positive impact of online gambling, stating, “We believe this has been just a huge help to the casinos, particularly during the pandemic.”

Last year, a bill was submitted to extend the legalization of internet casino gambling. During a first committee hearing, Assemblyman Don Guardian, a former Atlantic City mayor, expressed his support, calling online gambling “an integral part of gaming in New Jersey.”

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In recent years, the tax income generated by online casino gaming in New Jersey has significantly climbed. According to budget documents, it has become a source of more than $250 million in annual tax collections for the state via the Casino Revenue Fund. In April, iGaming in New Jersey raked in approximately $159 million, a more than 16% increase over the previous year.

A comparable bill has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee as well. This bill, co-sponsored by Assembly members Don Guardian and Claire Swift, both of whom represent Atlantic City, attempts to connect with the Senate’s efforts to legalize online gambling in New Jersey.

The future of online gambling in the state is in jeopardy as the legislative process moves forward. The expansion of this critical sector might not only generate continual cash and job opportunities, but it could also secure the viability of New Jersey’s casino business.

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