Assemblyman RONALD S. DANCER
District 12 (Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean)
Authorizes poker to be played in poker rooms at horse racetracks in this State.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act authorizing poker to be played in poker rooms at horse racetracks in this State and supplementing P.L.1940, c.17 (C.5:5-22 et seq.).
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. a. The Legislature finds and declares that the card game “poker” is a game of skill and bluff and, therefore, is not a form of gambling that is restricted by the provisions of the New Jersey Constitution.
b. As used in this section, “poker” means a card game, including draw and stud poker, played by two or more players in which bets are made on the hands dealt with the highest-ranking hand that contains the most valuable combinations of sequences or sets of cards winning the pool; and
“poker room” means a room at a running or harness horse racetrack in this State in which poker is played.
c. The holder of a permit to conduct a horse race meeting may establish a poker room at a running or harness horse racetrack in which the game of poker is conducted with a portion of amounts wagered retained by the permit holder.
d. A poker player shall be at least 21 years of age.
e. The Division of Gaming Enforcement shall have jurisdiction over the conduct of poker played in a poker room at a racetrack in this State. The division shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), that: establish the rules of the game; provide for the licensing of a permit holder and its employees who conduct poker; and establish standards for the size and arrangement of a poker room. The division shall approve the amount that a permit holder may retain as compensation from the conduct of poker. The New Jersey Racing Commission shall have no jurisdiction over poker conducted pursuant to this section.
f. Poker, as conducted and played in a poker room at a racetrack in this State, pursuant to this section, shall not constitute a violation of any criminal law of this State that addresses gambling.
2. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill authorizes poker to be played in poker rooms at horse racetracks in this State. The bill states that the Legislature finds and declares that the card game poker is a game of bluff and skill and is not restricted by the gambling provisions of the State Constitution. Accordingly, poker as conducted under the bill will not violate any criminal law of this State. The Division of Gaming Enforcement will have jurisdiction over poker at racetracks and will promulgate rules and regulations establishing the rules of the game, providing for the licensing of racetrack permit holders to conduct poker, and establishing standards for the size and arrangement of poker rooms. The division will also approve the amount that a permit holder may retain as compensation from the conduct of poker. The New Jersey Racing Commission will have no jurisdiction over poker at racetracks. Poker players must be at least 21 years of age.