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New Jersey relaxes online gambling laws in test case for America

New Jersey relaxes online gambling laws in test case for America

Internet gambling operators hope success of poker sites in Chris Christie’s New Jersey will lead nearby states to follow suit.

America is poised to take a significant step towards permitting online gambling this week when New Jersey tests the waters by liberalising strict laws governing internet poker, blackjack and slot machines.

A new wave of officially sanctioned online gambling sites will be opened up to the public on Tuesday, ending years of controversy over rogue offshore websites flouting warnings from federal authorities that their US activities were illegal.

While New Jersey is not the first state to legalise and license online gambling – Nevada and Delaware already have licensed operators – it is seen as the first with a population of a scale likely to attract the critical mass of players needed by large, profitable sites.

More than 9 million people live in the east coast state, and governor Chris Christie, seen as a possible Republican White House contender for 2016, hopes to make it a hub for gambling regulation across America.

Christie, who is forecasting game-changing tax dollars to flood in from the liberalised industry, is already pushing federal authorities for further liberalising measures, specifically around illegal sports betting.

France, Italy and Spain have all introduced similar licensing and taxation regimes for online gambling. Britain, the biggest European market, is also considering reforms in this area.

the guardian

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