New Jersey lawmakers have approved a bill that will make online gambling in the state legal, opening the door for companies in the space -- including game companies like Zynga -- to operate online games that provide real-money gambling. Of course, you won't be able to play these games unless you reside in a state where it is legal to do so. Currently there are three: Nevada, Delaware, and now New Jersey. Nevada passed its online gambling bill last week.
Governor Chris Christie (R) has already signed the bill into law. The one caveat is that the bill will not take effect until the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement sets an official start date which could be somewhere between three and nine months after the law is signed.
One a related note, the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) issued a statement today applauding the move by lawmakers and the Governor:
"New Jersey has gone ‘all in.’ Residents now will have access to a safe and regulated online gaming market, and the state will have a new source for revenue and job creation -- something the federal government has failed to do thus far," said John Pappas, executive director of the PPA. "The U.S. represents the largest percentage of Internet poker players worldwide, so there is clearly a want and a need for a legal and regulated online gambling market. New Jersey will now serve as a leader in this thriving industry."