Poker News had a story on its website last week about a proposed bill that would allow NJ casinos to run online poker rooms (link).
New Jersey already does something similar with horse racing. NJ residents are allowed to bet on races over the phone with the state taking a little cut, of course.
The bill proposed by Sen. Raymond Lesniak would only consider brick and mortar casinos for licensing. This is likely a way to try and boost Atlantic City's revenues since most of the casinos have been losing money.
However, what does this do for this poker players who like to set on the felt and play the game?
It probably won't change much. While this would be legalized on the state level, poker players who want to play on the Internet, already are. With Full Tilt Poker and Poker Stars and all the other available online poker software, NJ residents already have this opportunity waiting for them.
I don't see why Atlantic City casinos would want to keep players at home either.
There are some poker players who pocket their winnings and never spend another dime in the casino. But there are many, many more who cash in and head straight for blackjack or slots to try and get more money, only to lose it all.
There have been many nights where I've seen players win a ton on the poker game, go play blackjack to lose it all and, then, come back to the poker table to recoup their loss. There isn't a huge advantage for the casinos to build up online poker unless they are looking for more branding.
Update: Here's a link to an article in The Press of Atlantic City. Apparently, more than just poker would be offered.