Lesniak says credit-card firms hurt Internet gambling

State Sen. Ray Lesniak

State Sen. Ray Lesniak

State Sen. Ray Lesniak, told the Mobile and Tablet Gambling Summit USA at Bally’s on Monday, major credit card companies are hindering the Internet gambling industry because they fear online betting in America may be illegal under federal law.

Analysts who projected $1 billion in yearly Internet gambling revenue in New Jersey missed the mark as state regulators reported just over $100 million since the practice launched in November.

Lesniak still has great hopes for Internet gambling in New Jersey, but he says success is dependent on educating payment processers that online betting is legal.

Lesniak addressed the conference using via Skype, Internet-based video telephone system.

Three states jumped into online gaming last year with high hopes, but so far their take is very low.

Other than the Garden State, Internet gambling is legal only in two other states: Nevada only allows poker and Delaware has a very small market.

The inherent problems of protecting problem gamblers and other necessary regulations give it a troublesome future. In Europe, too, which has nearly half of the world market, online poker traffic is down while concern about the industry’s effect is rising.

Governor Chris Christie Tuesday, July 22, 2014. (Governor's Office/Tim Larsen)

Gov. Chris Christie (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen)

Gov. Chris Christie’s financial predictions are increasingly viewed as unrealistic. His expected haul from Internet gambling is barely one-tenth the actual results and his state revenue projections earned eight cuts to New Jersey’s credit rating,

The online gambling industry in the United States needs one big state to succeed in order to crack the nationwide market so with hope fading for New Jersey’s experiment, more sights are turning to Pennsylvania as the next big state to jump on board.

A provincial success story is considered ket to convincing Congress to repeal the federal law against Internet gambling across state lines.

Meanwhile, gaming supporters are eager to learn the result of a federal court battle over whether sports wagering will be allowed. State officials removed obstacles to betting on professional games but various leagues have filed lawsuits encouraging federal judges to block the legislative process.

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