Although a proposal to legalize Internet gambling law in New Jersey could face legal challenges if it becomes law, based on Governor Chris Christie’s earlier arguments that online betting may be unconstitutional, attorneys say such challenges would have a slim chance of succeeding.

While Governor Christie has conditionally vetoed legislation that allows people in New Jersey to place bets at Atlantic City casinos using the Internet, he also supports using online gambling to improve the financial health of the state’s gaming industry.

Former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto, now a partner with Ballard Spahr, said any argument over such a law’s constitutionality ignores modern realities.

“We project ourselves electronically pretty much everything. The question is where is the gambling occurring, and if the situs really is in Atlantic City, then what is the difference between doing it over the Internet as opposed to sitting in Hoboken and sending a surrogate to Atlantic City and over the phone telling that person what bets to make? That doesn’t seem to me to be prohibited by anything,” said Justice Rivera-Soto, also a former gaming industry executive.

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