The resolution, introduced by Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, passed by an overwhelming margin. Nonetheless, Trump and his administration continue to remain mum about any movement on the iGaming front.
New Jersey resolution touts online gambling’s big economic boost for the state
A resolution is not the same as a bill when it comes to legislation. Rather, resolutions serve more as a written recommendation, which can advocate for action, but does not legally put that action into effect.
So, what the New Jersey Assembly effectively did is loudly express its opinion that Trump should leave online gambling decisions up to the states. The resolution passed by a 75-0 margin. There were no nay votes. Only five Assembly members abstained.
In addition to advocating the president refrain from taking federal action on any anti-online gambling, the Assembly also heartily endorsed how much the industry benefits the state.
Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the resolution:
“A federal prohibition against Internet gaming would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the State and Atlantic City casinos have already made to implement and regulate Internet gaming, 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 tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos in this State.”
Trump’s online gambling stance remains murky
The resolution comes at an odd time. Currently Trump’s office is not taking any action on the online gambling front.
In fact, most of the gambling-related movement on the federal level is related to sports betting. The good news is New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone is pushing to repeal the federal ban on sports betting. He recently introduced legislation called The Gaming Accountability and Modernization Enhancement Act, or GAME Act for short.
The bad news is the acting Solicitor General recommended that the Supreme Court of the United States pass on hearing New Jersey’s appeal of existing sports betting law. Now it is a matter of waiting to see if SCOTUS will take the SG’s advice or not.
Really though, the federal online gambling front is pretty quiet these days. Many were concerned after Trump’s election that billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson would strongly push his anti-online gambling agenda. So far he is making little progress.
In the meantime, the states are all making big progress towards expanding online gambling. Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York are all in the midst of legislative online gambling pushes. If anything, this resolution sends a message to those states that online gambling is a great revenue generator. Moreover, it can economically boost their respective casino industries.
Certainly it helps for Trump to be aware of this positive endorsement though. That way, should these states pass online gambling expansion, it will not be perceived as an epidemic, but rather as a trend best left up to the control of the states.