TRENTON – State Sen. Raymond Lesniak introduced a legislative plan on Thursday that would put Atlantic City at the center of an international gaming industry that is expected to experience rapid growth in the years ahead. The plan would help attract international gaming companies to Atlantic City, producing jobs, state revenue and economic expansion, Lesniak (D-Union) said.
The idea, originally announced by Lesniak late last month, was updated to require the companies to be located in Atlantic City, where they can take advantage of the business and regulatory infrastructure already in place for the casino industry and the newly-launched online gaming enterprise for New Jersey.
“International internet gaming is already taking place,” said Lesniak. “This gives us the opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a new business sector that offers economic growth and job creation,” said Lesniak. “New Jersey has a lot to offer. We have the stability and security of a regulated marketplace, we have an educated workforce and a high-tech infrastructure. We can make New Jersey and Atlantic City a global destination for internet gaming.”
An economic analysis by Econsult Solutions predicts the plan could generate $5 billion to $8 billion a year in revenue and produce 11,000 to 16,000 jobs.
Lesniak’s bill, S-3084, would authorize the Division of Gaming Enforcement to provide licenses to companies that offer Internet gaming to other countries where it is legal, allowing overseas customers, including casinos, to place wagers on casino games via the Internet. The service would be restricted to foreign countries and regulatory agreements would have to be implemented between New Jersey and the foreign jurisdiction. The Division of Gaming Enforcement shall promulgate regulations to ensure that each person licensed to provide restricted foreign Internet wagering meets standards for Internet wagering equivalent to those applicable to Atlantic City casinos regulated by the division.
“The Atlantic City casino industry is well regulated and highly respected, which gives us an advantage,” said Lesniak. “We can capitalize on our strengths and attract business to build and invest in our state. We shouldn’t allow these opportunities to migrate overseas to other countries.”
The bill requires that the entire foreign Internet wagering operation, including facilities, equipment and personnel, shall be located in a secure facility inaccessible to the public and specifically designed for that purpose at an approved location in Atlantic City.
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