Gov. Christie expected to sign internet gambling bill

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Sportsbook news anchor Natalie Rydström gives an SBR iGaming News update for Friday, December 21st, 2012. In a day the Mayans are calling the last on earth, an update is given on an internet gambling bill close to becoming law in New Jersey, as well as a major acquisition by British bookmaker William Hill (SBR rating A).

New Jersey lawmakers approved a bill permitting internet gambling at Atlantic City casinos this week. Bill S1565 is identical to assembly bill 2578, which has been sponsored by the who's who of Garden State politics, with assemblymen John Burzichelli, Vincent Prieto, Ruben Ramos Jr and State Senator Lesniak among the lot. It all rests in the hands of Governor Chris Christie now, as he will have a chance to either sign the legislation into law or veto it, as he did a similar gambling bill in 2011, much to the chagrin of Senator Lesniak and Atlantic City casinos. In an interview with SBR earlier this year, Senator Lesniak estimated the move cost the state of New Jersey more than one hundred million dollars in lost revenue.

The legislation itself authorizes internet gaming inside of Atlantic City casinos, but does not offer remote gambling to residents of New Jersey.  This means that whilst at a hotel, you may saunter around with your mo-bile phone playing slots and the like, but your connection will be terminated once its detected you've left the facility. Members of SBR forum are celebrating the news nevertheless, as Governor Christie is expected to sign the bill into law, and it is one step closer to gaming freedom.

British bookmaker William Hill and business partner GVC Holdings have reached a deal to acquire SportingBet Australia for approximately $750 million. The agreement also includes a call option for Sportingbet's Spanish business.

CEO Ralph Topping had the following to say:

"This acquisition not only highlights William Hill's commitment to grow further internationally into regulated, high growth markets such as Australia, but also supports our strategic aim to diversify revenue sources into new territories and through greater multi-channel usage.

In another acquisition, one of the world's largest suppliers and operator of pools and tote betting has agreed to acquire US online horse betting operator eBet Online. The deal may be worth as much as $12.6 million over the next three years if growth targets are met. According to reports eBet took in more than $100 million in wagers this year.

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