NJ Senator Proposes Resolution Opposing Federal Ban On Online Gambling
New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan has introduced a new resolution in order to protect the state’s online gaming industry.
This latest legislative measure follows a similar resolution moved by New Jersey Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo that urges the Trump Administration and the Congress to not take actions that will hinder the state’s online gaming industry.
In a statement Whelan said
A federal prohibition against Internet gaming would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the State and Atlantic City casinos have already made to implement and regulate Internet gaming, taking away the economic and employment opportunities already realized by the State and its residents , and foreclosing the future potential of Internet gaming to generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue.
The resolution also pointed out that closing out of the internet gaming business would result in loss of software jobs and limit business ventures of Atlantic City casinos. Whelan has always been seen as a strong supporter of online gambling in the state . The resolution has been sent to the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee and is awaiting further progress.
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Both the resolutions do not have legal weight but are intended to send a strong message to federal authorities to not interfere in the state’s rights to decide on its laws. If passed, the resolution will be considered the official stance of the state legislature. Mazzeo’s resolution has advanced after its introduction, moving out of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee on Jan. 30.
The resolutions have been initiated in response to recent indications that the current administration may be against online gaming. During his confirmation hearing, the new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions (video above)has expressed his shock at the reinterpretation of the 1961 Wire Act by the Obama administration in 2011 which enabled online gaming to become legal. Sessions had additionally stated at the hearing that if confirmed he would be taking another look at the legal interpretation of the Act.
New Jersey legalized online gaming in 2013 and the industry has been seeing strong growth in the last couple of years. In 2016, online gaming in New Jersey grew by more than 32 percent over previous year, while land based casinos posted a marginal revenue decline of 0.3 percent. According to experts the tie-ups between online gaming operators and brick-and-mortar casinos has helped boost visitation and revenue for the casinos.
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