Shares of casino operator Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) and gaming developer Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) surged more than 3% and 5%, respectively in Friday morning trading after Nevada became the first U.S. state to legalize online gaming.
Nevada had scrambled to pass the new law before New Jersey could do the same, ultimately sending a bill through both houses of the state’s legislature as an emergency bill, CBS News noted.
The bill allows Nevada to make agreements with other states to permit online poker games. State gambling regulators will now devise rules to govern online gaming. Companies that wish to offer online gambling from Nevada will have to pay the state a $500,000 fee.
On Thursday, Governor Brian Sandoval signed the new law just hours after it was approved by the state Senate and Assembly. Though New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a previous online gambling bill in the Garden State, he recently suggested that a revised version could get his signature as early as next week.
Earlier this week, New Jersey’s first new Atlantic City casino since 2003, The Revel, filed for bankruptcy protection.