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New Jersey a step closer to mobile gambling devices in casinos

June 29, 2012|By William D'Urso

Atlantic City, N.J., casino patrons, imagine: gambling in the hot tub, gambling at dinner, in the pool, even gamble in bed.

This dream could soon come true. The New Jersey Legislature approved Thursday the use of hand-held gambling devices at Atlantic City casinos, according to the Associated Press.

The move will require Gov. Chris Christie's signature before it can be passed.  The measure is one in a series of steps to help New Jersey compete with other states. The Garden State has also considered allowing Internet and sports gambling.

“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. “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.”

Whelan, a former mayor of Atlantic City, said mobile gambling devices could be a "significant revenue stream for our casinos." He said necessary safeguards were in place to prevent underage gambling.

"As part of the larger efforts to make our industry competitive, mobile gaming devices will be a welcome addition to casino wagering in the Garden State," Whelan said.

Christie has not expressed an opinion on the bill, but has supported Atlantic City's efforts to become more competitive.

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