Internet gaming bill CVd

The Internet gaming (S1565) bill championed by Sen. Ray Lesniak has been conditionally vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.

The veto will allow Internet gambling to take place, but the governor is suggesting additional safeguards, including a 10-year sunset period “giving future leaders the perspective and opportunity to revise and renew Internet gaming as appropriate.”

Hidden in the veto and not described in the governor’s message is an increase in tax on gross revenues from a proposed 10 percent to 15 percent.

Among the additional safeguards proposed by the governor are an extension of the prohibition on state employees and legislators from working in the casino industry to include internet gaming.  The conditional veto also would require lawmakers to disclose past or current representation of entities holding or seeking internet gaming licenses.

The veto also suggests increased funding for prevention and treatment of gambling addition to prevent “a new generation of addicted gamers, sitting in their homes using laptops or iPads, gambling away their salaries and their futures.”

Reached today Lesniak said he has no problem with the governor’s suggestions.

“This is a big lifeline to Atlantic City and will prevent at least one casino from closing,” Lesniak said.

Lesniak said that by allowing Internet gaming, the state can market to other states to tap into our system.

“We want to be the Silicon Valley of Internet gaming. We want to market this to other states, which would increase the additional revenue that will flow into Atlantic City casinos by tenfold.” Internet gaming bill CVd