Christie Defends New Jersey’s Successful Regulated Online Gambling Industry
The New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a resolution urging the Trump administration and Congress “to oppose measures and actions to prohibit states from authorizing and conducting Internet gaming.”
The resolution, AJR 137, had near unanimous support in both chambers. The state’s assembly passed it in a 75-0-1 vote. The Senate cleared it by a margin of 36-1.
Comments made by “beleaguered” Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing were the impetus for the resolution. Sessions’ comments were not made in vacuum. They’re one piece of a larger puzzle put together by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson as he fights to institute a federal online gambling ban.
Thus far, the efforts have failed to gain any traction and myriad groups oppose a ban.
Online gambling has been a boon for New Jersey
Despite some wavering comments about online gambling games, Christie signing the resolution reaffirms that his decision to legalize online gambling back in 2013 was the right one.
Since launching in November 2013, New Jersey’s legal online gambling sites have:
- Generated nearly $600 million in online gaming revenue;
- Sent over $100 million to the state via direct tax revenue;
- Buoyed Atlantic City’s casino industry;
- Led to the first year-over-year real money casino revenue growth in Atlantic City since 2006.
A white paper by the trade group iDEA provides even more evidence of the positive impact of New Jersey online gambling games.
According to the report (published in June), online gambling games has led to:
- Roughly $1 billion in direct and indirect output;
- 3,375 jobs, resulting in $218.9 million in wages to employees;
- $124.4 million in total tax revenue;
- and No measurable increase in underage play or bankruptcy.
Here is what the resolution Christie signed says:
This resolution urges United States President Donald Trump, members of President Trump’s administration, and Congress to oppose any measures and actions that would prohibit states to conduct Internet gaming. Recent measures in Congress, if pursued by the new Congress and supported by the President and his administration, would prohibit the transmission by wire communication of any bet or wager or of information assisting in the placement of any bet or wager, including Internet gaming.
In his confirmation hearing as nominee for United States Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions indicated his desire to revisit the federal Justice Department ruling that currently allows the states to authorize Internet gaming. These measures and actions would invalidate New Jersey’s implementation of Internet gaming, which the State authorized in 2013 to be conducted by Atlantic City casinos in partnership with their Internet gaming affiliates and under strict regulation and control by the State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
A federal prohibition against Internet gaming market 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, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos in this State.