President Donald Trump was sworn in officially just a few days ago and has a number of important agenda that his team needs to be addressed in the coming weeks. Legislators in New Jersey are wasting no time in highlighting their concerns and requesting the Trump Administration to take notice.
New Jersey legislators want to make sure that the Trump Administration does not approve laws that would ban online poker. There are only three states in the United States as of now that have approved online poker and they are New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. New Jersey legalized online poker just a couple of years ago and it is only in the last 12 months that the market has finally started to gain some momentum. The garden state’s online poker industry generated around $200 million in 2016 which was an increase of 30 percent when compared to 2015.
The Obama administration allowed the state governments to decide if they wanted to legislate online poker or keep it banned. As many as ten states are in discussions to legalize online poker including California, New York and Pennsylvania. There are concerns that the Trump Administration might invoke the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act” or “RAWA” which would invoke a complete ban on online poker throughout the country.
New Jersey legislators are concerned because U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has gone on record to state that he was shocked in the past when the Department of Justice (DOJ) decided in 2011 to interpret the 1961 Wire Act in a way that would give respective states the authority to regulate online casinos and online lotteries.
The New Jersey Assembly and Senate sent across a joint resolution to President Trump and his team stating that
a federal ban on online gambling would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the state and the casinos have already made, taking away the economic and employment opportunities already realized by the state and its residents, and foreclosing the future potential of internet gaming to generate tax revenue, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos.
Billionaire Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corp is the biggest opponent of the online gambling industry in the United States and is personally funding the ‘Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling’ in the country. Adelson is known to have strong political ties to the Republican party and there have been concerns in the past that he would use his political influence to get a federal ban passed.