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New Jersey moves toward online gambling with proposed regulations

(Reuters) - New Jersey announced another step on Friday that will bring it closer to launching online gambling, with plans to publish proposed regulations for Internet wagering on June 3.

According to a draft of the proposed regulations, posted on the website of the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement on Friday, licensees would pay an initial Internet gaming permit fee of $400,000, and an annual fee of $250,000 for resources for problem gambling.

The Division of Gaming Enforcement said publication of the regulations will be followed by a 60-day comment period through August 2.

Final adoption will follow a review and response to comments. The date for the start of online wagering will be announced at least 45 days prior to commencement, the division said in a statement.

Nevada became the first U.S. state to launch a legal online poker website in late April when Station Casinos, which has 16 properties in the Las Vegas area, went live with a poker site operated by online partner Ultimatepoker.com.

Other casino giants like Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts are pursuing the regulatory and licensing processes in both New Jersey and Nevada on views the nascent online market will ultimately boost revenues by billions of dollars.

Several other states are considering similar legislation.

Key measures in New Jersey require regulations to ensure that players are betting within state borders. Individuals do not have to be New Jersey residents, but must be located within the state to play on the Internet through a permitted casino.

(Reporting by Susan Zeidler in Los Angeles; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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