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Vicky Nolan

New Jersey Assemblyman Looks to Pioneer a New Era

15 November 2000

A bill to permit currently licensed land-based Atlantic City casinos to open Internet casinos is being drafted by New Jersey Assemblyman Tony Impreveduto. He expects to present the final bill before the state assembly early next year.

Impreveduto is reluctant to discuss the legislation, but he shared a few relevant facts about his intentions. First, the law would mandate that licenses would only be issued to land-based operators that are licensed to operate in Atlantic City. This would ensure that any online gaming site would have to meet the state's rigorous licensing process, something that would keep out questionable or undesirable operators. Any casino operator that violates New Jersey's gaming regulations would then jeopardize both their land-based and online operating license, something that no casino in Atlantic City would readily do.

Under Impreveduto's proposed bill, the New Jersey Gambling Commission would police the virtual operators and oversee the software. The New Jersey Casino Control Division, meanwhile, would oversee the whole industry.

"My sense is, gambling is here to stay," the assemblyman, who is better known for his role in developing gambling protection bills, explained. He pointed out that many online gaming sites are largely unregulated and undergo a cursory licensing process, if any. The industry needs to be regulated and fair, he added, saying that players can't be positive that software is rigged or that winnings will actually be paid.

While he's still drafting the legislation, Impreveduto has identified one important concern: "The key here is to find a way to protect against minors gambling," he said. Plus, some of the proceeds from Internet gambling would have to be given to problem gambling groups, for research purposes.

Some points in the legislation are still being researched, such as whether the Atlantic City operators would be able to accept online wagers from players outside of New Jersey, or even the U.S. Impreveduto is also uncertain whether federal legislation, should it pass (a notion he believes unlikely), would supercede New Jersey's interactive gaming legislation should it be enacted.

To date, Impreveduto hasn't discussed details of his legislation with anyone, so whether the Atlantic City land-based operators there will root for the bill is unknown. The assemblyman, however, suggests that they would be foolish to not enter what many see as an extremely lucrative venture.

New Jersey Assemblyman Looks to Pioneer a New Era is republished from
Vicky Nolan
Vicky Nolan