Poker Players Alliance lobbying Gov. Christie to sign New Jersey Internet gaming bill


New Jersey poker players are lobbying Gov. Chris Christie to sign an Internet poker bill that has been sitting on his desk this month.

The Washington D.C.-based Poker Players Alliance determined it has roughly 20,000 members in New Jersey and urged the group to make phone calls, email and use all forms of social media to get Christie to sign the bill.

New Jersey lawmakers in December approved a bill that allows licensed Atlantic City casinos to operate online gaming websites catering to state residents and customers wagering on computers located within New Jersey's borders. One analyst called the bill a “lifeline” for Atlantic City.

Christie has until Feb. 4 to sign the bill, veto the bill, or do nothing, in which case the bill will become law.

“The governor could also conditionally veto the bill, sending it back down with proposed changes,” Union Gaming Group Managing Director Bill Lerner told investors.

The Poker Players Alliance’s website features a countdown clock for the final days left before the governor has to take action.

Christie hasn’t tipped his hand. Last week, on a New Jersey radio show, he told listeners, according to a transcript posted on NorthJersey.com, "I've got to make a decision very soon. I haven't made a final decision yet."

Christie is reportedly concerned the legislation would not help Atlantic City and could lead to problem gambling.