Governor Chris Christie signed the New Jersey igaming bill into law today at around 3.20pm Eastern Standard Time.
Earlier in the day, the New Jersey Assembly voted the bill through 68-5 then the Senate was even more unanimous with a 34-1 vote.
Christie’s signature ends a long saga for New Jersey, which began when Senator Lesniak first introduced an internet gaming bill three years ago.
The bill has gone through several iterations since then. It reached Governor Christie’s desk last March and was vetoed for a first time, with the Governor insisting the issue should be put to the New Jersey voters. Following a successful vote, it was back on his desk two weeks ago when he gave it a conditional veto with clear instructions to change it into a bill that he would allow.
This is a big day for the state, which now has the legislation in place that allows it to challenge Nevada to become the US headquarters of internet gaming. It also ends something of a legislative arms race between the rival states.
Just last week, Nevada politicians rushed through a bill, which amended the state’s igaming legislation to include an interstate element. Governor Sandoval demanded the change after realising that Christie’s conditional veto meant a New Jersey act was just around the corner.
However, while Nevada operators will just be able to offer online poker, the New Jersey act allows operators to offer anything available in its casinos, meaning slots and other casino games will be allowed.