Since the gaming bill were introduced in the state of New Jersey a few weeks ago that would offer intrastate online poker and sports wagering through Atlantic City (AC) casinos, many have asked whether existing online poker sites would be permitted to continue operating in the state under the legislation.
Joe Brennan Jr., the head of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, a trade group that represents many of the online poker sites, said that his clients are in favor of the New Jersey gaming bill. Brennan said that he talked with the representatives of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker about the legislation last week at the IGE (International Gaming Expo) in London.
Brennan said that there is noting in the bill that would blocked residents in New Jersey from continuing to play at online sites like PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The $100,000 fine for offering online beting without any approval from the New Jersey Gaming Control Commission stated in the legislation would not be applied to existing offshore online sites, over which the state of New Jersey has no power.
Brennan said that gamers will continue to play at existing online sites. He said that is the incentive to get gaming establishments to make agreements with existing gaming operators. They do not want to go to the trouble of creating one and not have any players show up.
If casino facilities and existing online operators want a good future, both need to find an even ground to accommodate one another. Brennan said that for New Jersey online sites to get started with a minimum overhead, they will need to collaborate with existing gaming operators that already have the skill and gaming software to manage a successful online poker site so that casinoS only need to add to their gaming brand.
Brennan does not think that backers of a federal law for licensing and regulating online gaming should be against the gaming proposal in New Jersey. He said that the development on the state level could place considerable pressure on the federal government to speed up the whole process.
Brennan said that they cannot just for something good to happen in Washington. He said that he has nothing against the PPA (Poker Players Alliance) and the work that they are doing on behalf of poker enthusiasts all over the US, but recognition of how hard it is to get a bill approved on Capitol Hill.
Brennan said that if it looks like the states are moving on this issue one by one, officials of the federal government might realize that they have to begin some federal license tax or state governments will take over and the federal government will be cut out.
Showing how serious it is about this legislation, the state of New Jersey held a hearing on the sports betting billl on February 2nd, 2010 in the State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee. Brennan, who spoke at the hearing, said that he believed that that the sports betting bill was reviewed first to coincide with the Super Bowl.
February 18, 2010