By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak announced this week that he would be introducing legislation to allow online gambling within his state. Earlier this year, a similar bill from Lesniak made it all the way to Governor Chris Christie’s desk before being stopped dead in its tracks by a last-second veto.
Lesniak vowed to bring the legislation back to the governor’s desk, and to his credit, that’s exactly what he’s done. This time around the bill has included provisions that allow New Jersey’s ailing horse racing industry to keep afloat for three years. Money taken in from online gambling will be used to supplement horse racing purses to keep the industry alive in the state.
You may not think of New Jersey as a hotbed for horse racing, but the industry brings over $1 billion into the state along with 13,000 jobs. Senator Lesniak is quick to bring these facts to the forefront in his announcement of the bill.
“We cannot turn our backs on the horse tracks and casinos which employ thousands of New Jerseyans and generate billions of dollars in economic activity each year,” Senator Lesniak said. “We have to give this industry the tools and support to be relevant in the 21st century, and by authorizing intrastate online betting, we can provide access to a gaming product which other states have yet to capitalize on. We need to act now, before more of our state’s horse farms or casinos close their doors forever.”
Lesniak also said that he’ll be tweaking the bill to address concerns that New Jersey’s online gaming operation could spread beyond its borders, which was one the reasons for Governor Christie’s veto on previous online gambling legislation.
It will certainly be interesting to see if the “We need online gambling to save our state’s jobs” tactic will turn a few more heads when people hear of the legislation.
The new bill will be introduced on Thursday, August 25th.
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