State would regulate the activity and collect a 20 percent tax on online revenues

The New Jersey Senate’s Wagering and Tourism Committee has released a bill that would allow Atlantic City’s 11 casinos to run gambling on the Internet for state residents.

Sen. Ray Lesniak, the bill sponsor, said the legislation would allow New Jersey to cash in on the online gambling market. He said an estimated 500,000 New Jersey residents who have accounts with online poker sites collectively wager about $150 million a year.

“This bill will provide an astounding number of revenues and jobs for the state of New Jersey, for our casinos who are struggling and for reinvestment in Atlantic City,” the senator said.

Under the bill, the state would regulate the activity and collect a 20 percent tax on the gambling revenue it generates.

It was not known this week when the bill would be scheduled for a floor vote. The bill has not yet been considered in the Assembly.

Federal law prohibits online gambling and related operations, including payments processing, that occur across state lines. The U.S. Department of Justice considers it illegal for foreign Web sites to offer online gambling to U.S. citizens and has successfully prosecuted operators and payments processors.