TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) – New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has signed a bill legalizing Internet gambling, making his state the third in the nation to offer online betting.
The measure was signed into law Tuesday afternoon just hours after it won overwhelming approval in the state Assembly and Senate.
Earlier this month, the legislature approved a different online gambling bill that was vetoed by Christie who called for slight changes to the measure.
The modifications Christie called for that are in the new measure include a 10-year trial period and higher taxes on casinos’ online winnings.
Patrons would set up online accounts with one or more Atlantic City casinos, which would use special software to verify a player’s age. Once the program is operational, which could take six months to a year, gamblers could play any game now offered in Atlantic City casinos, including electronic versions of slots and table games.
The bill was sponsored by online gambling advocate State Sen. Ray Lesniak and State Sen. Jim Whelan. After passage, State Senate President Stephen Sweeney praised the lawmakers for their work in legalizing online betting.
“I want to thank Senators Lesniak and Whelan for their tireless advocacy on Internet gaming. Their work will ensure that New Jersey remains ahead of the curve on this issue. It will also help bring jobs to a state that has seen decades’ high unemployment and stagnant economic growth,” said Sweeney.