New Jersey Gambling Bill Gets Conditional Veto
After the waiting, the wishing and the hoping for all concerned with the bill it's all over....for the time being anyway. Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie gave the New Jersey Bill a conditional veto which supporters are considering a win as only small changes are required to be made and the bill should be passed next month. Christie's changes are detailed in a 31 page document with most of them being reasonable and all of the doable. They include a tax increase from 10 to 15%, with more of that money being spent on problem gambling along with a 10 year time limit place on the bill. In a very positive statement he said, "With these goals in mind, I have concluded that now is the time for our State to move forward, again leading the way for the nation, by becoming one of the first states to permit Internet gaming." Ray Lesniak who sponsored the bill believes that amendments will be made and passed by the Assembly by February 21st ready for voting in Senate on March 18th. All being well, which there is absolutely no reason why is shouldn't be, Lesniak believes that the whole thing will be up and running and hands being dealt by September. Lesnaik stated, "This is great news, "I'm pleased that the changes he made are minor and will allow it to get up and running, hopefully achieving my ultimate goal for New Jersey to become the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming."
Atlantic City Concerns
Christie stated that his main concerns were problematic gambling and the fact that online gambling may keep people away from Atlantic City. However by increasing the taxes paid to 15% this somewhat dampened his concern. By adding the ten year time limit, this allows the state to asses any damage done on Atlantic City, thus easing his second worry with a valuable time frame of assessment. In his statement he added that, "In the wake of the devastating losses suffered by our residents in recent months, we must embrace new ideas to fuel our reconstruction and continued prosperity, internet gaming should be a part of that effort. With the recommendations I propose today, we can revitalize one of our State's premier attractions, and reintroduce New Jersey and Atlantic City at the forefront of innovation and entertainment." Regarding the 10 year time limit he said that it was long enough so that it would not deter potential investment and that he could see no reason why it should not continue after that period. This is also good news in that it may pave the way for the purchase by Rational Group of the Atlantic Club Casino bringing yet further investment into Atlantic City.