Gov. Chris Christie has opened the door to legalization of Internet gambling in New Jersey by setting conditional terms on the games lawmakers are expected to approve.
If legislation to legalize online gaming is amended to meet with Christie's conditional veto, issued Thursday, Atlantic City's 12 casinos would run the operations and pay a 10 percent tax on winnings, up from the normal 8 percent tax on traditional casino revenue.
Christie wants to extend existing prohibitions and disclosures for casino employment of state employees to Internet gaming licensees and boost funding of compulsive gambling treatment.
He also wants the law to expire in 10 years, which a spokesman for the Republican governor said gives "future policymakers the opportunity to revise and renew the law if appropriate."
Assemblyman John Amodeo said he and other bill sponsors "accept the governor's proposed amendments and will work together to get these passed by the Legislature as soon as possible and back onto the governor's desk for consideration."
"It's a critical piece of legislation for Atlantic City and New Jersey as a whole," said Amodeo, an Atlantic County Republican.
Democratic Sens. Ray Lesniak of Union County and Jim Whelan of Atlantic County also said they'd be glad to add Christie's tweaks to the bill, with Whelan describing them as "simple changes that can be made to tighten up the bill while ensuring that we move forward with what will be a boon for the economy of Atlantic City."
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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