Last week, the New Jersey General Assembly issued a Joint Resolution, sponsored by Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, urging President Donald Trump and Congress to oppose any actions that might change existing laws regarding online gambling.
In the resolution, New Jersey lawmakers say that a federal ban on online gambling would be a huge blow to the New Jersey budget, which receives a nice chunk of money from online gambling taxes. Moreover, shutting down online gambling would erase years of hard work and significant investments made by the state of New Jersey.
The Impetus Behind the Joint Resolution
The resolution comes on the heels of President Trump’s nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Sessions has been outspoken in his criticism of online gambling, and has gone so far as to state that if chosen, he would consider reversing the 2011 ruling of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that made it legal for states to regulate online gambling within their borders. Currently, only three states have taken advantage of this ruling - New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware - but many more are considering it, and a revocation of the original ruling would spell disaster across the country.
The resolution from the New Jersey General Assembly also comes following the recent revelation of the state’s 2016 annual revenue from online gambling - a record-breaking $196.7 million. $29.5 million of that went into state coffers, and disallowing online gambling would mean losing all that income the following year.
Trump is Keeping His Cards Close
Online gambling supporters are anxious about the measures President Trump will take regarding online gambling. Not only has he nominated Jeff Sessions for the position of Attorney General, but he also has the financial backing of notorious online gambling opponent, Sheldon Adelson. The only glimmer of hope is that he himself has not been outspoken against the issue. For now, online gambling supporters are holding on to that glimmer.