The Poker Players Alliance has urged its members to contact New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and ask him to sign the online gambling bill sitting on his desk.
In a press release issued Jan. 28, the PPA said that more than 20,000 of its members reside in the Garden State. While a couple thousand of New Jersey residents have already contacted Christie’s office and voiced their support of the Internet gambling bill, the PPA is hoping that many more follow suit.
The New Jersey Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of the bill 33-3 on Dec. 20, which followed a 48-25 General Assembly vote just days earlier. All that is needed for the bill to become law is the governor’s signature. Christie has 45 days in which to make his decision, which the PPA has calculated to be a deadline of Feb. 7. The PPA website now features a countdown clock informing members of the amount of time left for Christie to act.
The PPA website has also created a new webpage that provides information on how to contact Christie to express support of the online gambling measure. Christie’s office can be emailed or tweeted via a simple click at the PPA site, or his staff can be reached by telephone at 609-292-6000. Those wishing to support the bill do not have to be PPA members.
Christie voiced his concerns about the bill during a recent “Ask the Governor” radio broadcast. He told a caller to the show that gamblers may be reluctant to visit Atlantic City casinos if they have the option of gambling right at their fingertips over the Internet. Christie also was concerned that the ease in which people can gamble online may cause too many to become gambling addicts.
In the case of online poker, many studies have shown that players may actually play more at brick and mortar casinos after Internet play. For instance, many online poker satellite tournaments are formatted so that winners move on to play at live events. The popularity of poker, both live and online, spiked tremendously in 2003 after Chris Moneymaker won an online poker satellite tourney and parlayed that into the championship of the World Series of Poker Main Event.
Christie has the option of signing the current bill, outright vetoing the bill, or doing nothing. Inaction by the governor within the prescribed time would mean that the bill would automatically become law. However, Christie can also veto the bill and propose specific modifications or changes.