The New Jersey Legislature gave final approval Thursday to a bill that enables casino patrons to use hand held gambling devices. Casino patrons will have the ability to gamble in areas of the casino , such as the pool or even their hotel room, using a handheld device.
Although New Jersey approves hand held gaming devices, the bill now must be sent to Governor Chris Christie for final approval. Christie, long a proponent of the benefits of casino gaming, is expected to approve the bill.
“Casino gaming is the lifeblood of south Jersey’s economy, and we have to be willing to adapt in order to survive,” said state Sen. Jim Whelan, a sponsor of the bill and a former mayor of Atlantic City. “Hand-held, mobile gaming devices have already been adopted in Las Vegas, and allow casinos the opportunity to extend the gaming floor to anywhere within their premises. By authorizing New Jersey casinos to take advantage of this new technology, we’re putting Atlantic City’s casino industry on an even competitive field with our competitor to the west.”
Atlantic City has been on a downward for years, losing patrons, who now can simply drive to other nearby states to gamble and am seeking innovative ways to recapture the bulk of the gaming revenue being diverted to nearby states.
New Jersey is also moving toward offering Internet gambling and sports betting.
Players wanting to use the handheld gaming device will first have to establish an account at the casino.
Casinos would be able to offer, as of yet undetermined, electronic versions of games of chance that can played on handheld mobile devices within the confines of the casino and adjoining hotel, including outdoor recreational areas as well as the swimming pool.
All bets must be be placed within the casino and all winning must be collected within the casino premised. Controls also must be in place to ensure that the devices are inoperable outside of the predefined confines permitted.