Allentown
70° F
Clear
Clear

New Jersey legalizes online gambling

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Feb 26 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Feb 27 2013 05:33:57 AM CST

Gamblers in New Jersey will now be able to place their bets right from the comfort of their own home.

Gamblers in New Jersey will now be able to place their bets right from the comfort of their own home.

Governor Chris Christie made gambling over the Internet legal in the Garden State Tuesday afternoon.

There is still a lot to work out with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Board.

Some say legalized online gambling will bring in more tax dollars, others feel it will make situations even worse for gambling addicts.

Soon you will be able to place your bets with the click of a mouse.

“I guess it's okay for the state," said Phillipsburg, New Jersey resident Peter Hauerstein. "I mean they have it in Atlantic City to begin with. I guess it will bring in more revenue.”

Tuesday afternoon, Christie signed legislation making it legal to gamble online in the state.

“I am pleased to say that today I signed New Jersey’s Internet Gaming Bill, opening the way for new opportunity to bolster our efforts to continue the revival of Atlantic City, its casinos and entertainment offerings," Christie said. "This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly. But with the proper regulatory framework and safeguards that I insisted on including in the bill, I am confident that we are offering a responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole. I want to thank the sponsors for working quickly to include my recommendations to improve the bill.”

New Jersey is only the third state to have such a law.

"The money is going to come back to New Jersey absolutely," said Cati Atkins, also from Phillipsburg. "Anything that is going to help.”

Christie vetoed the legislation twice, but said if state taxes were raised to 15% he would sign the bill.

The governor got his wish.

“I think if people are going to gamble they are going to find one way or the other to do it," said Eric Vesdel, from Pennsylvania. "So I don't know if it is going to have an affect one way or another to be honest with you.”

There are still a lot of details to work out before people can hit the jackpot.

The state will have to figure out some way to verify the legal age and residency of account holders online.

Many say they don't think online gambling will hurt the casino business.

"There's a huge difference between what you do online and what you do in real life," said Atkins. "So I don't think it's going to hurt the casinos or anything like that at all.”

Some do think it will lead to more people having financial problems.

“They'll probably stay at home to do that," said Hauerstein. "They'll probably gamble more money and maybe get in more trouble because of that.”

One other stipulation that Governor Christie wanted in the legislation was a review of online gambling in 10 years.

New Jersey lawmakers agreed to that as well.