States Make Play for Web Gambling

Efforts to legalize online gambling in the U.S. are moving to the states as lawmakers roll the dice on bills that aim to steer around federal laws effectively prohibiting Internet wagering.

The first real test of the state efforts comes this week in New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie is expected to decide the fate of a bill that would let Atlantic City casino companies run gambling websites for state residents.

The bill would make New Jersey the first state to sanction online gambling. The Republican governor, who has until Thursday to veto or sign the bill, hasn’t publicly stated his stance.

Regardless of Mr. Christie’s decision, gambling experts say momentum is growing behind states’ efforts to legalize online gambling for their own residents, known as intrastate gambling. Last week, Iowa lawmakers introduced a bill to legalize online poker, and California and Florida are among other states considering similar bills.

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