New Jersey Lawmakers Tell President Trump to Avoid Anti-Online Poker Legislation

Posted on June 19th, 2017 by Jon Pineda

New Jersey lawmakers have a message for Donald Trump: don’t mess with online gambling, Mr. President. Internet gambling has been good to the Garden State. Land-based casinos have seen a recent increase in revenue thanks to the state’s online gambling laws.

New Jersey Donald Trump

New Jersey lawmakers want to make sure President Donald Trump doesn’t try to invoke anti-online gambling laws at the federal level. (Image: slate.com)

Trump is still a “new” President, having only been in office since January 20. He has been focused on bringing back coal jobs, defeating terrorism, and fighting what he refers to as the “fake news media.” That hasn’t afforded him much time to address a lesser issue: online gambling.

When he finally gets around to it, he could try to reverse current internet gambling laws. Currently, each state has a right to make its own decision on this issue.

However, it’s highly unlikely President Trump would attempt to reverse these laws even though his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is anti-gambling, and Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson has long fought against online poker.

But Trump, on many issues, believes individual states should decide how to vote. So, it’s unlikely he would ban online gambling at the federal level.

Don’t Even Think About It

Despite Trump never publicly stating he plans to ban online gambling, New Jersey Assembly members voted 75-0-1 in favor of urging the President and Congress to refrain from taking federal action against internet casinos.

The Garden State suggested that Mr. Trump continue to leave it up to individual states. Assembly Joint Resolution 137 was originally drafted on January 23, just three days after the President was sworn into office.

On June 8, the Assembly took and passed a vote. It was then received by the state Senate on June 12 and will soon be voted on by the Senate.

Attorney General Sessions could ignore the proposed resolution, but Trump may take it more seriously. He is a former Atlantic City, New Jersey casino owner so he doesn’t have a history of being anti-gambling.

Why this is Important

Gambling has long fueled the economy in Atlantic City. Once considered the “Las Vegas of the East,” the city has suffered some tough times in recent years. Tourism has been down since the 1990s.

But Atlantic City is starting to see more visitors to its casinos in recent months. A large part of the reason for increased casino revenue is online gambling.

Gambling revenue from January through May surpassed the $1 billion mark in New Jersey. That’s an increase of 3.9-percent compared to the same time period in 2016. Online gambling accounted for $101 million, nearly 10-percent of the total revenue.

Internet gaming is up 29-percent this year, a big help to the state’s economy.

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