the big kahunaNJ Governor's Office/Tim LarsenNew Jersey could imminently become the first state in the union to legalize online gambling. The state senate first passed a bill legalizing online gambling in 2010 but faced hurdles put up by Governor Chris Christie, who vetoed the most recent version of the bill earlier this month.  The legislature is now working on a revised version and the governor promises this time he could sign it the same day (“depending on how my day is going”) if it contained the additions he sought. Ante Up Magazine explains Christie’s demands:

His conditions within the 31-page veto included a change to the tax rate listed in the bill from 10 percent to 15 percent, with a portion of this revenue to go to entities that work to help treat people with compulsive gambling problems and addictions. This was one of his issues with the bill he vetoed last year.

There’s also a part of the bill listed as Section 33, which addresses the issue of interstate commerce through the gaming act... This could open the door for offshore online gaming, depending, of course, on the future rulings by the DOJ and government.

Another notable point in the veto is the requirement that this online gaming law be set to expire in 10 years, unless it’s overridden by another law (state or federal).

While a poll last May showed 58 percent of voters in New Jersey opposed to online gambling in the state, Christie is enjoying a record high 74 percent approval rating, which ought to help in making legalized online gambling palatable in New Jersey.

Check out Reason TV’s “The Politics of Poker: Why It’s Time to Legalize Online Gaming”: