Lesniak Wants New Jersey at Forefront of Online Gambling

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Ray Lesniak, a Democratic State Senator in New Jersey, wants to introduce a new bill legalizing and regulating online gambling.  His decision to reintroduce a bill after a previous effort was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie comes as a result of the recent decision of the United States Department of Justice to redefine the Federal Wire Act of 1961 to exclude online gambling.  The previous bill was vetoed due to Christie’s fear that it violates the Wire Act, and now that that fear has been alleviated, Lesniak feels that New Jersey should move forward with new gambling legislation.

Lesniak, knowing that the USDOJ’s new decision will surely bring about legalization in some states, wants New Jersey to be the first state to take advantage of the new legal reality.  He said that New Jersey should be at the forefront of online gambling; he said that he wants to New Jersey to be the “Silicon Valley” of online casino gaming.  His hope is that if New Jersey is the first state to take advantage of the USDOJ’s decision, then it will draw top USA online casino operators.

Since Christie had expressed concerns about illegal gambling, Lesniak is including in the bill clauses to address those types of issues.  Two penal clauses included hefty fines for operating or using illegal online casino games and an even larger fine for advertising such a casino.  The law includes a clause stating that a player must be at least 21 years of age.  It also stipulates that the player must be within the borders of the state of New Jersey while playing.  Lastly, the bill allocates a large sum of online gambling profits to fund a center for helping people who suffer from gambling addiction.

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