More than $25 billion dollars are wagered online at offshore gambling web sites each year -- with $6 billion coming from United States players, even though there is a federal law against it.
Internet gambling is untaxed and unregulated in the U.S., but now New Jersey lawmakers want a piece of the action. They have passed a bill legalizing Web betting and are waiting to see if the governor will sign it.
Under the bill, the gambling websites would be based at Atlantic City's 11 casinos, which would share in the profits. Players would have to prove they are state residents before they could legally gamble online.
Under the bill, New Jersey casinos could see profits of more than $300 million a year, while the state would collect an estimated $28 million.
Gov. Chris Christie has not signed onto the bill yet, but may be feeling pressure from New Jersey’s projected $10 billion deficit. And if signed into law, the legislation could provide thousands of new jobs for the state.
National gaming company Caesar’s Entertainment hopes the entire country will soon play online, even though some concerns within the industry need to be addressed.
“Even if all the states move to pass laws, you still have not fixed the problem that you have a huge industry operating outside U.S. law with no consumer protections or oversight,” said Jan Jones Blackhurst, Caesar’s senior vice president of corporate communications and government relations.
Fox News' Mike Leventhal contributed to this report.