EDISON - Gov. Chris Christie says he is open to the idea of building new casinos in the northern part of the state.

On the governor's monthly "Ask the Governor" radio show, Christie said that he would have no problem putting a vote on the ballot right away. This is a different message than the governor's previous stance on keeping gambling in Atlantic City. 

Gov. Christie's statements and Hard Rock International's proposal to build a casino at the Meadowlands are steps toward expanding gambling in the state, according to the state Assembly's Gaming Committee Chairman Ralph Caputo.

"I'm open for suggestions and I think we're talking about two sites minimally, Jersey City and the Meadowlands," Caputo says.

Caputo says that if the state wants to keep New Jersey gamblers in New Jersey, there needs to be more local options.

However, voters must first change New Jersey's constitution. To give them a chance this year, a majority of the state's lawmakers must agree to put a question on the November ballot by August 2.  This also has to be approved by state Senate President Steve Sweeney.

When contacted by News 12 New Jersey, Sen. Sweeney's office had no comment about the issue.