Online Gambling Approved By Senate Committee In New Jersey
New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak has been pushing for regulated online gambling long before the current craze that has reached statehouses across the US. Lesniak has already passed a bill through the New Jersey Legislature that regulated the industry, but that bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie.
On Tuesday, Lesniak and his fellow lawmakers took their latest shot at having Internet gambling regulated. The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee passed the bill that will now head to the full Senate for a vote. The bill passed despite strong opposition from the horse racing industry in New Jersey.
Whether Christie vetoes the new version is not yet known. The governor did not like the original version because of the amount of expansion it would create throughout the state. Lesniak has reworked the bill to ensure that the online casinos will be run only in Atlantic City, but some lawmakers are still skeptical that the bill will get passed Christie.
"Barring a constitutional amendment, it's impossible," said Senator Jennifer Beck, when asked if the new law would hold up in court. That could become a major issue for Lesniak and other pro-Internet gambling lawmakers.
Lesniak is no stranger to taking on the law. Last year, he sent a letter looking for clarification of the country's sports betting and online gambling laws. New Jersey is poised to become the second state in the country to offer sports books, as voters approved sports betting last year. Legislators are working with Christie on the laws that will governor sports betting in New Jersey.
Analysts have predicted a major growth spurt in the online gambling industry across the US in the next couple of years. Lawmakers in New Jersey are pushing to pass the Internet gaming laws before other states, knowing that the first state to enter the industry would have a big advantage in gaining players should the activity be regulated on a national level.
Atlantic City has been in desperate need of a revenue boost after casinos in the city watched revenue decrease drastically since the economic recession. Lesniak has warned lawmakers in the state that without online and sports betting, the AC gaming industry was in danger of falling behind up-and-coming industries in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other Northeastern states.
April 4, 2012
Posted By April Gardner
Staff Editor, CasinoGamblingWeb.com