This Tuesday, Governor Chris Christie will deliver his State Budget Address before a special joint session of the legislature in the Assembly chambers at the State House. This won't be the only game in town. Christie’s address is scheduled for 3pm, but an hour before that the full Assembly is expected to allow New Jerseyans to wager on Atlantic City casino games via the Internet.

Assembly Chambers at the Statehouse(Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

"We must position New Jersey's gaming industry to thrive in the 21st Century, and that involves authorizing a legally sound Internet gaming law such as the one now on the table," says Assemblyman John Burzichelli, the bill’s prime sponsor. "This will be another key piece of our effort to boost New Jersey's gaming industry by expanding and modernizing our wagering options, and I look forward to it becoming law."

The bill authorizes people in New Jersey to place bets on Atlantic City casino games via the internet.  Under the bill, any game that is authorized to be played in a casino could, with the approval of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, be offered through Internet gaming. People would be allowed to be from out-of-state, as long as it’s consistent with federal law. The revised bill incorporates changes suggested by the governor in a Feb. 7 conditional veto.

The measure is co-sponsored by Assemblymen Vinnie Prieto and Ruben Ramos.

"New Jersey's gaming industry must, like just about everything else in today's economy, offer an Internet option if it's to remain competitive," explains Prieto. "This is a carefully crafted plan designed to ensure Internet gaming on casino games is offered the right way and is a much-needed competitive step forward for our casinos that could also raise more revenue to benefit senior and disabled citizens."

Under the bill, all internet gaming would be deemed to take place in Atlantic City and all equipment used in internet gaming would be required to be located in Atlantic City, except that backup equipment and certain other equipment could be located elsewhere.

"The internet has long been a reality, and internet gaming in New Jersey should now be reality too," says Ramos. "This bill will thoughtfully position our gaming industry to succeed, and it will mean economic growth and job creation for our state."

If approved by the Assembly, the bill is then scheduled to be considered by the state Senate Tuesday for final legislative approval. It would then go to Governor Chris Christie.