TRENTON — The Assembly Regulatory and Oversight Committee will meet today to consider a package of bills that aims to enhance and modernize the state’s gaming and horse racing industries.
One of the measures is a bill sponsored by state Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) that would allow Internet wagering at New Jersey casinos. Because of a federal ban on interstate wagering, only New Jersey residents would be able to make use of the system. A portion of the revenue from this Internet gaming would go to the New Jersey Racing Commission.
“This bill would generate a minimum of $35 million in tax revenue to help build a bridge to self-sufficiency for our state’s ailing horse tracks,” said Lesniak. “It would generate millions of dollars in private revenue and would give casinos a new product to capture gaming dollars from tech-savvy gamblers.”
The Assembly committee will also consider a resolution to amend the state Constitution to allow sports betting if federal law changes to permit it. Lesniak sponsored an identical Senate resolution.
A report from Wall Street ratings company Moody’s Investors Service said that the Atlantic City initiatives – including Lesniak’s Internet gaming proposal – would be of little help to the struggling casino industry.
“We do not believe Internet gambling and sports betting will grow the overall market because consumers will continue to feel pressure from economic forces such as high unemployment for some time,” the report said. “We expect revenue would go in one pocket and out the other as gaming companies use different forms of gambling to vie for the same customer base.”
The state Senate passed the Internet gaming bill by a 29-5 vote last month, so it will go to the governor’s desk if the full Assembly approves it.
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