New Jersey’s case for the legalization of online gambling has taken a step forward, followed by two quick steps back. Just yesterday, the state’s Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee passed a measure which furthers the cause of online gambling within the state.
This news, however, has met with opposition from the state’s horseracing industry. There have even been rumors that the powerful group might be planning to file a lawsuit, should the government pass online gambling into law. iGaming Business reported that one Jeff Gural, a spokesman for Meadowlands Racetrack, voiced strong doubts about such a measure. Though not in favor of offering such services to the general public, Gural did suggest that the state might allow electronic gambling devices to be set up within special parlors at existing racetracks, as a means of attracting more customers.
The government itself, in fact, cannot quite seem to agree on the proper course of action. At the same time the first measure met with approval, the General Assembly’s Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee put off a vote on a similar piece of legislation. The reason for the delay, they stated, lies in the possible need for a state-wide referendum.
Citing a source within the political machine, NorthJersey.com has reported that the possibility for regulation is proceeding down two different courses. Which train reaches the station first will depend upon whether or not the above mentioned referendum takes place.
New Jersey has been in this situation before. Last year, legislation designed to legalize online gambling made it all the way to the desk of Governor Chris Christie before being slapped down with a veto. Should things progress to that level again, it will be interesting to see just how the situation is handled. With the government making an effort to boost economic growth, it would be somewhat surprising to see him shoot down a proposal which, according William Pascrell III of the Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association, could create up to 2,500 jobs.