State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Union) is introducing a bill to expand New Jersey's Internet gaming industry, which launched a five-day test period on Thursday.

Atlantic City casinos
Flickr User Lisa Andres

The bill would authorize the Division of Gaming Enforcement to partner with companies that offer Internet gaming to other countries that have legalized the practice. Lesniak hopes that by allowing overseas customers, including casinos, to place wagers on New Jersey online games, the Garden State would become the epicenter of an international gaming industry expected to experience rapid growth in the coming years.

"New Jersey is on the verge of being the Silicon Valley or indeed the Mecca of Internet gaming," said Lesniak. "This could make New Jersey the leader in online gaming. We are well positioned to take advantage of a dynamic opportunity to be at the hub of a new business sector, with the potential for economic growth and job creation."

Lesniak said thousands of jobs could be created and the state could rake in hundreds of millions of dollars, but he admitted that predicting any of those figures can be very difficult.

His legislation mandates 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.

"New Jersey's Internet gaming law will be a real boost to the state, Atlantic City and the casino industry," said Lesniak. "International online gaming will provide even more opportunities, more jobs and more growth. We need to lay the foundation now."


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