It's becoming a little bit of a long winded affair. The New Jersey online gambling bill flew through both Assembly and Senate, yet is still sitting on the desk of Gov Chris Christie...unsigned. The Governor has until the 3rd of February to sign or veto the bill, which isn't far away. So what's the problem with signing a bill that appears to have support from all angles and got the ok from all comers? Well the answer is that Gov Christie has his fears over the bill, in that it will not give the desired effect and could in fact have the opposite effect. He has suggested that the bill could stop people from travelling to Atlantic City and also could potentially produce a generation of gamblers. This is a far cry from early 2012 when he said, “I think New Jersey should be in that business. I think we should be an epicenter for that business.” His decision is still up in the air however if he doesn't sign or veto, it will become law by default. There is little doubt that Atlantic City could do with a boost and some hear Christie's words, while others believe the bill can only do good.
Maybe Gov Christie should look at the experts on this subject and he need look no further than Nevada. A few years ago most casino big wigs held the same view, that online gambling would see off their bricks and mortar establishments. However, after much research the exact opposite was found. Let's take one of the largest Vegas events, the WSOP. Online poker satellites form a huge part of this event and it's peak was hit in 2006, pre UIGEA when every hotel in town was full. During June and July the WSOP kept hotels busy as many online players flocked to the event, even those that didn't qualify wanted to see it for themselves. Numbers have dropped since UIGEA making many observers blame the bill for that drop.
Should PokerStars be allowed to complete the purchase of the Atlantic Club Casino, then this would bring a large amount of poker players back to the ailing resort. Their huge online presence should not be taken for granted, they are indeed giants of the gambling world now. Events similar to the ones that are held around the world by Stars would undoubtedly attract huge amounts of players to the Garden State. PokerStars could easily hold events to compete with the WSOP as far as popularity is concerned and with the PokerStars Pro Team and Sports Team these tournaments would attract huge interest in the media too, maybe putting Atlantic City on the map.