ELIZABETH – Reacting to news that billionaire Las Vegas-based casino mogul Sheldon Adelson is financing a lobbying effort to ban Internet gaming, state Sen. Raymond Lesniak today called on New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, the state’s casino industry, public officials and the business community to fight off Adelson’s effort. Lesniak is the sponsor of New Jersey’s Internet gaming law, which is expected to produce jobs, revenue for the state and new business for Atlantic City’s casinos.
“Adelson has started a campaign to shut down New Jersey’s internet gaming which will cost the loss of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of revenues to Atlantic City’s ailing casinos and hundreds of millions of dollars to the state treasury,” said Lesniak. “We already have given the legal authority for Internet gaming in New Jersey and state regulators have done a good job in reviewing and authorizing licenses for online gaming businesses. Imposing a federal ban on internet gambling for New Jersey would be an economic catastrophe.”
Lesniak wrote to every casino CEO in New Jersey, the state’s Congressional delegation, the Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce and the head of the casino workers union alerting them to Adelson’s actions and urging them to help stop this attempt by to take away the ability of states to permit online gambling.
Adelson has hired high-powered lobbyists and public relations experts in Washington and around the country to pursue his goal, including Wellington Webb, the former mayor of Denver; former U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, former New York Governor George Pataki and the Washington lobbying firms Patton Boggs and Husch Blackwell, according to Lesniak.
“Mr. Adelson, you should take your campaign and direct it where gambling has the most negative impact – lottery sales,” said Lesniak. “Convenience stores sell lottery tickets right across from low income housing projects. You should put your billions to work helping those folks get good paying jobs and job training and to support preschool education funding. And shame on you, Governor Pataki. You promoted selling lottery tickets to poor people but now that you’re getting paid big money, you’ve ‘gotten religion’ about gambling.”
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