oncerns over the future of iGaming in the United States have multiplied after Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions said that he would revisit a 2011 Department of Justice ruling that left the legalization of online gambling to individual states.
The New Jersey General Assembly issued earlier this week a Joint Resolution, sponsored by Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, urging the newly sworn-in US President Donald Trump, his administration, and the Congress to oppose any measures that may challenge the existing status quo.
New Jersey has the youngest of all three US regulated online gaming markets
A 2013 law authorized the provision of iGaming options within the state’s borders and several Atlantic City casinos have gone live with gambling websites since then. Internet gambling has enjoyed a stable growth over the past three years.
As reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the amount of $196.7 million was generated in iGaming win in 2016, reflecting a 32.1% increase from the prior year. That resulted in $29.5 million in tax revenue being contributed to the state’s coffers.
In the Assembly’s Joint Resolution, New Jersey lawmakers have argued that a federal ban on online gambling would deprive the state and its casino industry of much-needed revenue boost and would erase years of efforts and substantial investments put into the creation of a stable regulated market and jobs for those employed in it
The legislative piece has also urged President Trump and the Congress to dismiss any attempts for the implementation of such a prohibition.
Here it is important to note that the Joint Resolution does not carry the legal force of a law and rather indicates legislators’ viewpoint on a particular issue.
Although President Trump has not expressed any opinion on the future of iGaming, many fear that his administration may not be that well-disposed towards this type of gambling offering.
According to industry insiders, the US top official may be influenced by his former fellow casino owner, Republican Party financial backer, and staunch online gambling opponent Sheldon Adelson in adopting measures that would block this type of services at a federal level.
Following is the main statement from the resolution:
This resolution urges United States President Donald Trump, members of President Trump’s administration, and Congress to oppose any measures and actions that would prohibit states to conduct Internet gaming.
Recent measures in Congress, if pursued by the new Congress and supported by the President and his administration, would prohibit the transmission by wire communication of any bet or wager or of information assisting in the placement of any bet or wager, including Internet gaming. In his confirmation hearing as nominee for United States Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions indicated his desire to revisit the federal Justice Department ruling that currently allows the states to authorize Internet gaming.
These measures and actions would invalidate New Jersey’s implementation of Internet gaming, which the State authorized in 2013 to be conducted by Atlantic City casinos in partnership with their Internet gaming affiliates and under strict regulation and control by the State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
A federal prohibition against Internet gaming would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the State and Atlantic City casinos have already made to implement and regulate Internet gaming, taking away the economic and employment opportunities already realized by the State and its residents, and foreclosing the future potential of Internet gaming to generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos in this State.
For the complete text of the AJR137 visit the New Jersey Legislature.