Despite high hopes for Senator Ray Lesniak’s bill governing online gambling in New Jersey, the bill has suffered a setback due to lack of political support. Both Democrats and Republicans failed to offer enough support for the bill, which led to no vote taking place on May 31st. The next time a vote on the bill can take place is in autumn, and Lesniak and his followers are going to spend this time period trying to earn more support.
According to Lesniak, the lack of Democratic support was due to opposition to the bill in its current form by the horse racing industry, while the Republicans were taking Governor Chris Christie’s lead by being unable to take a clear and coherent stand on the issue.
Lesniak said that he and his supporters would work until the end of June to see if they can advance the bill by getting more Democratic votes or the governor’s support.
All is not bad in New Jersey, however. Jim Whelan’s bill which called for Atlantic City casinos to be allowed to offer hand held mobile gambling on premises, was approved by the New Jersey Senate. These devices have the potential to greatly increase revenue for the cash strapped gambling industry in New Jersey.
Before Atlantic City casinos can start operating these devices, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement will need to ensure that they are not able to work beyond the physical boundaries of the casino. Another condition to the bill being passed is that wagers will need to be paid at the casino. The bill now needs to move the House and, if approved, could see New Jersey’s gambling industry move a little forward to keep abreast with growing competition from neighboring states.
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