NJ Senator Lesniak Introduces International iGaming Expansion BillDecember 5, 2017 1:55 pm
In October, New Jersey finally realized that going it alone meant continuing decline for the state’s online poker market, and so instead opted to take up Nevada and Delaware’s offer of joining a shared online poker player network. After resisting the call for several years now, the Garden State seems eager to make up for lost time, too, and has now introduced a bill paving the way for international companies to also participate in the action.
The piece of legislation called SB 3536 was introduced by New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) on November 30th, and aims to open up the possibility of international operators participating in the network by removing an important barrier to entry.
Currently, any participating poker or casino firm is required to establish servers inside New Jersey, which is one of the reasons why the proposal to share liquidity with UK operators earlier this year never materialized. Senate Bill 3536, on the other hand, removes this restriction, which is explained in the bill’s long but descriptive title: “Allows internet gaming equipment to be located outside Atlantic City for certain international gaming purposes, subject to Division of Gaming Enforcement approval.”
During his tenure, Lesniak has been one of online gambling’s staunchest supporters, and was hugely influential in having legislation pass in New Jersey back in 2013. After having served almost 40 years in the NJ state Legislature, however, Sen. Raymond Lesniak is due to retire soon, but says that he is keen to see his new bill pass before that happens.
Having introduced SB 3536 in the Senate, it was subsequently referred to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee, where it is currently awaiting debate. In the meantime, Lesniak has expressed his confidence that the bill will pass before January 9, 2018, especially in light of developments as far as New Jersey’s online poker market is concerned.
Furthermore, Lesniak will be using all his considerable political clout to ensure his fellow legislators pass SB 3536 before his retirement, and as he explained back in August:
“I’ve changed my mission from making New Jersey the Silicon Valley of internet gaming to the Mecca of internet gaming. Online gaming has helped Atlantic City revive its casino sector with a success that we can expand in ways that will generate more revenue, create jobs and fuel technological innovation in gaming.”