The state Senate on Thursday passed a bill that would let New Jersey residents to play online versions of casino games anywhere in the state. The 33-3 vote gives Governor Christie 45 days to decide whether he wants to veto the proposal, as he did nearly two years ago.

The vote followed a 48-25 Assembly vote on Monday in favor of online gambling, which supporters say already occurs illegally. New Jersey is in a race with several states, including California and Nevada, to be the first to offer such gambling. A Congressional bill that would have made online poker legal at the federal level while banning all other online versions of casino games has languished in the lame-duck session, leaving the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader, to question whether the federal government would take any action in 2013.