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legislation

Legal Online Poker in New Jersey Expected by September

Legislation, 2012-03-07, by Ozone

One year ago, New Jersey narrowly missed becoming the first state in the U.S. to legalize online poker when Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that was voted through the state's legislative bodies by wide margins. The state senator who supported that measure, Raymond Lesniak, says he now expects a bill to allow for Internet gambling to pass both houses and be signed by Governor Christie by March 15th.

If Lesniak's expectations come to fruition, New Jersey will be well positioned to be the first state with a legal online poker platform up and running. Lesniak expects online poker to be played in the state by September 1st.

The state is in a race against Nevada to be the first to provide legal online poker to Americans. Lesniak's bill will allow for New Jersey to reach out to other states interested in allowing their residents access to the Internet gaming.

A December ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice that the Wire Act only applies to sports-betting was apparently what gave Christie a change of heart in regards to legalizing online poker.

In an interview with PokerNews, Lesniak said, "Only a handful of states can have a regulatory scheme and possess the experience in operating these types of games - obviously Nevada and New Jersey, and likely California." He continued, "It would be a lot easier for most other states to have a compact with us and do a profit-sharing agreement. Market share is very important in this business, and that's why it's important to be there first."

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