The Online Gambling Bill Falls Yet Again In New Jersey
It has been officially announced by the New Jersey press that Governor Christie has vetoed the Intrastate Internet Gambling Bill. The Bill was supposed to legalize online gambling in New Jersey at licensed online casinos for NJ residents.
The decision was delayed by a week than its scheduled date because the Governor’s office announced said a legislative recess was in force. The Governor is quoted to have said that his decision was made after much deliberation about the pros and con of the Bill. He is said to have wrestled with both legal issues and constitutional concerns. He is said to be particularly concerned that the Bill does not contain any thing to prevent other businesses such as restaurants, night clubs, and cafes from starting their own gambling venues.
It is widely believed among the business fraternity that once the Internet Gambling Bill is passed, other parties would jump in to join the bandwagon and the Government will not be able to do anything to prevent them.
Another major reason for vetoing the bill is a passage in the bill that makes it possible to use a part of the online gambling revenues to support the New Jersey horse racing industry. It is a well known fact the Christie has been trying to cut off the horse racing industry from state subsidies.
Allowing the bill to pass would have been in complete contradiction to the Governor’s known stand on the horse racing industry in New Jersey.
The future of the Intrastate Internet Gambling Bill is now being speculated in the gambling circles. According to legal experts, the bill would have to go back to the legislation. It will now have to be passed with a two-thirds majority so that the veto can be overridden. The process is not as easy as it may seem. Already, Ray Lesniak, who sponsored the bill, has announced that he is not in favor of trying to override a Governmental veto. This can result in a major setback for those who have been trying for years to get legal status for the online gambling industry in New Jersey.
There is another stumbling block in the way of the Interstate Internet Gambling Bill getting passed. It is extremely unlikely that the Republican members of the legislature would vote in favor of the bill a second time after it has been rejected by the Governor. There are very few instances of a party over riding the decision of its Governor to get a bill passed in the legislature. Christie is a Republican and any attempt to override his veto would send wrong signals about the party. It would, in fact, be seen as a sign that the Governor’s own party members do not trust him.
The Bill S3167 meanwhile will have to wait for more favorable circumstances. Supporters of the Intestate Internet Gambling Bill were hopeful this time, more than ever, of getting the bill passed in their favor and were sniffing victory before Christie’s veto put paid to their hopes. They know that it is a long road ahead now.