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Online Poker To Be Legal In New Jersey By Mid-April

Lawmakers To Vote Feb. 26 And Then Governor Has 45 Days

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After New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a hugely favorable decision last week on an online gaming bill that was resting in his hands, state lawmakers will have to approve some minor changes before sending it back to him for signature.

It’s extremely likely Christie would sign this time around, after straight-up vetoing a similar measure in 2011 and then electing on a conditional veto in 2013.

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, sponsor of the bill, told Card Player last week that lawmakers will vote on the changes within a few weeks. According to the Press of Atlantic City, that date has been set as Feb. 26, and then Christie will have 45 days to sign.

It’s unclear how long he would take this time around, after he elected to run out the clock after the legislation was presented to him at the tail end of 2012.

This means that New Jersey, with more than 8.8 million people, will have legal online poker by mid-April. However, it doesn’t mean the games will be up and running by then. A brutally slow licensing phase would still need to happen. Nevada, which authorized online poker in the summer of 2011, still hasn’t had any of its firm launch a real-money site yet.

The games could only be intrastate at first, unless the Garden State quickly figures out the logistics on player pool-sharing arrangements with other jurisdictions. Either way, online poker games run from Atlantic City will eventually expand past state lines.

For news, updates and daily tournament information, check out the New Jersey landing page.