On June 30, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Assembly Bill 2190 into law, officially extending the state’s online casino legislation for another five years. That means that New Jersey iGaming can continue until at least November 2028 but will need a further extension before then. The five-year extension represents a compromise between the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and its equivalent in the Assembly. The Senate committee advanced a bill to extend the law by 10 years, while the Assembly Budget Committee initially proposed just two years.
After emerging from the committee, A2190 moved swiftly. The Assembly voted 76-2 in favor of it on Friday. After that, the Senate accepted it as a substitute for its own S3075 (with the 10-year extension) and voted unanimously for it to pass. Gov. Murphy then signed the bill, all within the same day.
Not Everyone Happy With the Five-Year Compromise
Reactions to the bill’s passage have been mixed. The Chamber of Commerce Southern New Jersey came down firmly against the proposed two-year extension. However, it then celebrated the five-year proposal. Conversely, gambling industry consultant Daniel Heneghan told Fox 2 Now that even five years isn’t enough. He says it “sends the wrong message” to companies interested in participating in the market.
It surely doesn’t help that the lawmakers involved in the change have refused to speak about its rationale. Neither industry outlets like Bonus nor mainstream media have received any response from Assembly Democrats to inquiries on the topic. Analyst consensus seems to be that state lawmakers want to use online casinos for leverage in their battle with Atlantic City and its casino industry over tax revenue. However, this is very speculative, absent confirmation from the lawmakers themselves.
For now, the important thing is that New Jersey online casinos have five years of breathing room. Any possible showdown this November has been averted.