Follwing the DoJ’s surprise Christmas present, New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak, Chairman of the Senate Economic Growth Committee, has announced today that he will work with Governor Chris Christie to bring iGaming to the state.
In his statement he referenced the status of his bill, S3019, which if made into law would authorise Internet gambling in New Jersey.
After a panel in the chamber didn’t hear the bill today (the final committee meeting day of the session), Lesniak said: “Speaking with Governor Christie, I’ve agreed to reintroduce Internet gaming in the next legislative session, and I expect that we can get it through the Legislature and signed by the Governor within the first few weeks of the new session.”
Lesniak says Internet gaming has a “transformational potential for New Jersey’s gaming industries”. He continued: “I believe that Internet gaming has transformational potential for New Jersey’s gaming industries. While I remain hopeful that New Jersey can take the lead on this exciting new direction for wagering.”
It is hoped by the senator that the introduction of iGaming in the Garden state will result in new revenues, new jobs, and new economic activity. He added: “I recognise that the complex issues surrounding Internet wagering will take more time to iron out than we are afforded in the waning days of the current Legislative session.”
Most importantly though, the statement concluded with: “This isn’t a question of ‘if’ New Jersey gets Internet wagering, but ‘when‘. My money’s on soon.”
But will it be that easy to pass the Bill through legislature? It may be up to New Jersey voters to decide whether to allow online betting in the state. Why? Because the Bill is being held up due to the state Constitution that may require the question to be put to voters. In a report by Press of Atlantic City, Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who is sponsoring the measure in the Assembly, said legal issues have to be worked out to be sure the Bill first complies with the state constitution. He added that a constitutional amendment may be the only way to make Internet gambling legal in New Jersey.
What are your predictions?