Gov Christie approves online gambling for NJ residents | Bob's Blitz

Gov Christie approves online gambling for NJ residents

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie placed minor conditions in his veto of Assembly Bill 2578 yesterday that essentially legalized online gaming for New Jersey residents within the state boundaries of NJ. Betting could begin just in time for the 2013-2014 NFL season.

"This bill represents an important policy decision for the residents of New Jersey, and a historic opportunity to continue the State's leadership as a premiere destination for tourism and entertainment. Such a significant step must be carefully considered, balancing the benefits of job creation, economic development, and the continued revitalization of Atlantic City against the risks of addiction, corruption and improper influence. It is my duty as Governor to make these determinations, always mindful of my duty to guarantee the continued welfare of our families, our neighbors, and the future generations who will call our State home," said Governor Christie.

"My proposal continues the tradition in New Jersey of a fine, careful, and well-regulated implementation of gaming. With these changes, we will increase resources to treat compulsive gambling, provide sensible safeguards to ensure careful oversight and a proper annual review of the implementation of internet gaming, along with a 10-year sunset for future leaders to carefully reevaluate internet gaming as a state policy broadly and critical transparency measures to guard against undue and improper influence and self-dealing," continued the Governor.

In his conditional veto, the Governor gave great weight to concerns over the potential spread of excessive gambling. "Our State cannot carelessly create a new generation of addicted gamers, sitting in their homes, using laptops or iPads, gambling their salaries and their futures," he said. To protect against such a proliferation of gambling addiction, the Governor further proposes the requirement of an annual analysis of the potential harms associated with these new games to be undertaken at the expense of the gaming licensees. Furthermore, he recommends that Internet gaming and its societal impact should be studied and periodically revisited. To that end, he proposes that the law sunset after a period of 10 years, giving future policy-makers the opportunity to revise and renew the law if appropriate.

The Governor's careful adoption of an Internet gaming law comes in the context and builds upon his efforts to revive Atlantic City, protect and grow its tourism base and create jobs. Since the start of his Administration, the Governor confronted the complex challenges threatening Atlantic City's unrivaled combination of natural seaside beauty, world-class attractions and easy access from around the world. One of his earliest acts as Governor was to establish an Advisory Commission on Gaming, Sports and Entertainment to study issues and develop a comprehensive approach to preserving Atlantic City's stature as a premiere resort destination. Among the results of those efforts was the establishment of a Tourism District with a comprehensive initiative to address blight and public safety.

A-2578/S-1565 was sponsored by Senators Ray Lesniak (D-Union) and Jim Whelan (D-Atlantic) and Assemblymembers John Burzichelli (D-Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem), Vincent Prieto (D-Bergen and Hudson), and Ruben Ramos (D-Hudson).

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