Gov. Christie Vetoes Online Gambling BillPublished on March 3rd, 2011 9:14 pm EST
The dream of having New Jersey become the nation's first intrastate Internet gambling market? Dead, at least for now.
Earlier today, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have allowed New Jersey residents to gamble through sites operated by casino companies located in Atlantic City. If Governor Chris Christie had not vetoed the bill, New Jersey would have become the first state in the US to establish an intrastate online gambling market.
Why did Gov. Christie veto the bill? Here is his official reason:
"In my view, the creation of a legal fiction deeming all wagers to have ‘originated’ in Atlantic City cannot overcome the clear and unambiguous language of the State Constitution." (Source: WSJ.com)
According to the WSJ article, Christie "suggested the state Legislature could revive the effort by asking voters to approve the measure by referendum." The article notes that a recent poll showed that 67% of people living in New Jersey are opposed to Internet gambling, which is obviously bad news for any online gambling referendum that may be introduced in the future.
Supporters of the bill are confident that they will be able to "tweak" the bill to gain the support of the Governor and eventually get it passed into law.
Joe Brennan, executive director of IMEGA, had this to say:
"This is a setback in that it slows it down. But all indications we have is the governor wants this, but it’s that he wants it done right."
The bill, of course, has some powerful detractors, including Caesars Entertainment Inc. According to the WSJ, Caesars "is against the state-by-state approach to legalizing Web gambling because the company is hoping to successfully pressure the federal government to create a regulated nationwide system."
What will this veto do to other efforts to introduce intrastate online gambling? Will an online gambling bill eventually pass in New Jersey?
We'll find out more in the weeks and months ahead..
Filed Under: Poker Legal Issues