The New Jersey Assembly has passed a measure to allow Internet wagering on casino games.
The bill would require all of the equipment used in Internet gaming to be located in Atlantic City so all the bets would be considered to take place there.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, however, believes the wagers would actually occur in the town where the person making them is located.
And that, he says, means a constitutional amendment would be needed to allow casino gambling outside of Atlantic City.
“That’s what the law requires. Right now, we’re sidestepping that process because they’re in trouble there,” said Caputo, D-Essex. “What’s the problem with putting it on the ballot? If it’s such a good idea, why don’t we let the people decide?”
Gov. Chris Christie vetoed an Internet gambling bill last year, citing those constitutional questions and concerns that it would lead to Internet cafes around the state.
Sponsors say the new version of the legislation would prevent that from happening.
They believe Internet wagering would generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the state and help New Jersey’s gaming industry.
“By making it lawful, not only do we capture the tax revenue but from the consumer standpoint, the players’ standpoint,” said Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, the primary sponsor. “We get to ensure that they are participating in a game that is one of integrity and that they have recourse if something goes wrong as opposed to presently betting in some offshore illegal site.”
The measure now heads to the full Senate for its consideration, but a vote there has not yet been scheduled.