Online Gambling in New Jersey Coming Down to the Wire

22 February 2011

It is coming down to the wire for Governor Christie to act on the internet gambling bill that is still lying on his desk. The bill was passed by the New Jersey legislature on January 10th with a feeling of that it was a safe bet to get passed the Governor’s desk and help the state increase its revenue.

That is not been the case. Now it seems the New Jersey Governor may not sign the bill into law. Reports now say that Governor Christie is being pushed in both directions about intrastate online gambling and leaning towards vetoing the bill.

Supporters say that this bill is exactly what New Jersey needs and will generate $10 million dollars on revenue a month which will equate to $28 million annually in revenue for the state.

One strong opponent of the bill however is Caesar’s Entertainment Corp. Oddly an Atlantic City licensee who would monetarily benefit from offering online gambling in New Jersey. Caesar’s however is looking at the big picture and believes if New Jersey passes this bill into law it will impede any progress on the federal front to legalize online gambling nationally.

One major sponsor of the bill has said that if Governor Christie veto’s the bill, they will not act to override it.

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind released a poll on Monday showing that the majority of people in New Jersey do not want online gambling at the casinos there but do want sports betting.

62% of New Jersey voters favor sports betting in Atlantic City Casinos or horse tracks. 55% say that people are betting on sports anyway so it should be allowed and taxed. When it comes to betting online however, 62% oppose the idea.

Peter Woolley, a political scientist and director of the poll said, “People suspect that the Internet makes the barrier for participation in gambling too low, maybe a little like having a liquor store right at everyone’s door.”

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