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Kevin Smith

New Jersey Senate Revisits I-Gaming Policy

20 February 2004

For the second straight year, a bill aimed at clarifying state law to address Internet gambling has been introduced in the New Jersey legislature, and this time around it could have some legs on it.

Senate Bill 2376, reintroduced in January, would make Internet gaming conducted by anyone located in the state illegal (regardless of where any other party in the transaction is located).

The bill also includes language making any judgment against a New Jersey bettor obtained in a jurisdiction where Internet gambling is legal unenforceable.

Further, it establishes that only the state may sue to recover illegal gambling losses.

The bill, introduced both times by Sen. Richard Codey, did not see any action last year. The political landscape in New Jersey is different this year, however, as Codey is now president of the Senate.

New Jersey doesn't have a lieutenant governor, making the Senate president the second-most powerful man in New Jersey politics. As Senate president, Codey has the power to put forth any bill he chooses.

That combination could be bad news for I-gaming in a state that has shown mixed signals towards the industry.

The New Jersey Department of Justice filed civil suits in 2002 against online casino and sport book operators who were either advertising in the state or accepting play from New Jersey residents.

The State Assembly's Garden State's Tourism Committee in January 2003 approved a measure that would establish an Internet gaming commission, but the initiative has gone nowhere since

Codey hasn't stated whether Senate Bill 2376 is a high priority. A spokesman for Codey's office told IGN that he was unfamiliar with the bill and that more research would be needed before he could comment on it.

The current legislative session commenced in January and will run for the next two years.

The bill hasn't yet been assigned to a committee.

Click here to view New Jersey SB 2376.

New Jersey Senate Revisits I-Gaming Policy is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith