NJ Residents Could Soon Be Gambling Online [AUDIO]
Governor Christie has indicated he is willing to sign an internet gaming bill into law, if several changes are made to the legislation.
The Governor wants the law put on a ten-year trial period, more money for compulsive gambling programs, and certain employment restrictions as well as expanding disclosure requirements.
State Senator Ray Lesniak, who's been pushing for internet gaming for years, says the changes wanted by the Governor could be approved in the next few weeks.
Lesniak says the measure, "Which will authorize Atlantic City casinos to have internet gaming will save thousands of jobs and could prevent some casinos from going under, and it will also give New Jersey the opportunity to be the Silicon Valley of internet gaming. This is the future of gaming in America and across the world indeed. Nevada wants to be the king of gambling, but we could be the king, we could bring hundreds of millions of dollars of more revenue into the state by farming out internet gaming to other states through this authorization."
He adds, "It really gives a big lifeline to Atlantic City that has been bleeding revenues for so, so long. Unemployment is through the roof in Atlantic County - this is a bit boost for the region and for our economy."
Lesniak also points out, "Revenues from the internet gaming and our casinos will go to the disabled and senior citizen program- and those revenues have been declining every year, this will help those programs and many others…This is a big, big win, and I'm pleased to have fought for this for so long, and finally get the Governor to come along…There's now hope for Atlantic City, where quite frankly, without this, there is none."
Governor Christie released a statement saying the careful adoption of an Internet gaming law "comes in the context and builds upon efforts to revive Atlantic City, protect and grow its tourism base and create jobs. Since the start of the Christie Administration, the Governor has confronted the complex challenges threatening Atlantic City's unrivaled combination of natural seaside beauty, world-class attractions and easy access from around the world.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli, the sponsor of internet gaming legislation in the Lower House, says, "I will be taking a closer look at the Governor's conditional veto, but at first glance his suggestions appear acceptable to me. I appreciate the governor taking the time to study the bill and his willingness to let Atlantic City's casinos take this leap into the future. If we're going to keep our gaming industry competitive, we need Internet gaming. It's that simple."
He adds, "I'm going to analyze the conditional veto further, but as of now, I expect to move forward with it and get this done as quickly as possible for the benefit of our casino industry, its employees and our economy."