Legal online poker could be coming soon to New Jersey. Yesterday, the state’s governor, Chris Christie, conditionally vetoed a bill that would have legalized online poker in his state. The news is seen as a positive step by online poker advocates. Two years ago, Christie outright vetoed a similar bill.
By conditionally vetoing the bill, Christie has indicated he objects to parts of the bill but is open to passing an amended form of the bill. The Internet gaming bill will now be redrafted by the state’s legislature with Christie’s recommended changes which are said to be fairly minor in nature. A primary element of Christie’s conditional veto include increasing the taxes on operators from 10% to 15% and creating a 10 year expiry date on the bill which would require the state to re-establish it as law in the next decade.
State Senator Ray Lesniak, the sponsor of the bill, anticipates the state’s legislative bodies will approve the changes to the bill within the next two weeks.
Not only is this news a positive step for proponents of online gaming in New Jersey, but it also indicates a potentially positive shift in the national attitude towards the subject; Christie is considered a potential Republican candidate for President in 2016. Christie’s willingness to endorse online gaming could have a ripple effect on others in his party who have historically been online gaming’s biggest detractors.