Revenue-starved states that want to legalize online gambling see a way around the federal government’s de-facto ban, The Wall Street Journal reports
. The trick is to limit betting to people within the state, and supporters say the technology exists to make sure no one violates a U.S. statute prohibiting Web-based wagers from being processed across state lines.
Bills moving through legislatures in New Jersey, Florida, California, and elsewhere would legalize everything from betting on horses to virtual poker. The New Jersey measure is expected to land on Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s desk as early as this week.
Whether Christie will sign it, and make his state the first to legalize online gaming, is another question. Polling shows New Jersey residents overwhelmingly oppose the idea. Some experts also question how much revenue the state would actually collect, given a complex set of reimbursement agreements New Jersey is locked into with its horse-racing and casino interests.
If Christie does sign, expect to see “other states go ‘aha’ ” and quickly jump aboard, said Internet gaming law expert Anthony Cabot.
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