New Jersey Governor Vetoes Online Gaming Bill
By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer
Just a few weeks ago it appeared that a bill to bring regulated online gaming to the state of New Jersey would become law, and the state would become the first to pass such legislation. Then we reported that his support for the bill was fading. But with one swift motion on Thursday, Republican Governor Chris Christie killed the bill with a veto, and set efforts to bring online gaming to the State back at least another year.
There was a bit of drama though, as early in the day on Thursday it was reported that Christie would conditionally veto the bill due to the fact that it didn’t provide adequate measures to stop illegal gambling near the New Jersey state border. The bill would then be revised and brought to both houses quickly.
In the end, Christie opted to veto the bill in its entirety, a move sources said was a result of pressure from lobbyists opposing the bill.
The veto opens the door for other states with pending legislation, such as Iowa, to become the first to legalize online gaming and bring a new source of income to government coffers.
Democratic Senator Raymond Lesniak, a sponsor of the bill, has vowed to bring legislation regarding internet gaming back in front of the Governor.
“While the Governor expressed concern with some aspects of the bill today, he’s committed to the general idea that we have to expand gaming product in order to bring our gaming industry back from the brink of fiscal insolvency.” Lesniak said in a statement Thursday. “I’m encouraged that he’s expressed an interest to work together to maintain the core idea behind Internet wagering while making sure that such operations cannot be hijacked by unscrupulous operators.”
To bring another bill to the desk of the Governor again, it would have to pass in both the Assembly and Senate by a two thirds majority, and once again pass a public referendum this November before it can become law. Of course, at that point it would have to avoid another veto from Governor Christie.