News from Nevada and New Jersey

16 February 2013 – By Linda Jefferson

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Online casino legislation in the United States has been present in most of the news regarding this field of activity. Online gambling enthusiasts and online casino operators are seeing some action on the legislation front after one governor has signed a bill into law and another has promised to sign it without delay. Assembly Majority Leader William Horne and US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada introduced a bill in order to enable online gambling agreements with other like-minded states. This week, the bill was fast tracked through the state Legislature and was sent to the governor on Thursday, February 21. Nevada’s governor said after signing the bill that this new framework will usher in the next frontier of gaming in Nevada. The purpose of such compacts is to have larger player pools, more liquidity and hence greater viability.

There were some divergences that could have delayed the enactment of the bill. One of these issues is referring to the proposed license fee of $ 1 million. After long debates, Horne and Nevada’s governor arrived at a compromise on a $ 500,000 fee and a renewal fee of $ 250,000. Another problematic issue concerns the possibility of blocking the licensing for five years of any entity that has offered American online gambling since the UIGEA came in act in 2006.

In the state of New Jersey, the governor had some demands in order to sign the intrastate online legalization bill. The New Jersey Senate and House will meet at the end of the month to hear the governor’s budget address. One of the supporters of the bill, State Senator Raymond Lesniak, told the press that New Jersey could have legal online gambling by the month end because there is a commitment in both houses to getting a revised bill passed on that day and immediately sent to the governor’s desk. New Jersey’s governor could use its conditional veto on the bill if his specific provisions would not be changed. Online casino operators on one hand and gaming enthusiasts on the other hand, both are waiting with excitement the finalization of this process.

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