New Jersey video poker, online poker, Internet gaming, Internet cafe, amusement business, Raymond Lesniak, Atlantic City casinos, Chris Christie, online poker operations
TRENTON, NJ -- New Jersey state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Union) said he will introduce legislation to permit Atlantic City casinos to offer online poker in the Garden State. The measure will overcome the objections that caused Gov. Chris Christie to veto a similar bill passed last year, he said. | SEE STORY
According to Lesniak, Christie vetoed the 2010 poker bill in March, 2011 in order to prevent a possible flood of Internet cafés in the state and to ensure that no poker profits flowed to horse racing. The state senator said his proposed bill explicitly prohibits both.
Lesniak also said he has written a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asserting that state governments have the authority to permit online gambling within their own borders.
The opposite view was previously argued by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ). The pair said state legalization of online gambling would violate the U.S. Wire Act of 1961.
A trade association for offshore casinos has estimated that the legalization of online poker operations by Atlantic City casinos could generate up to $250 million in new revenues (including up to $55 million in tax dollars) and create nearly 2,000 new jobs.