Assembly Panel Advances Mazzeo Measure to Help Protect Internet Gaming in New Jersey

Resolution Urges Feds Not to Ban the Operation which is Generating Jobs & Revenue at a Time When Atlantic City Needs it Most

(TRENTON) – An Assembly panel on Thursday approved a measure sponsored by Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo to help protect Internet gaming in New Jersey and the many economic benefits that go along with it.

Mazzeo’s resolution (AR-132) urges Congress to oppose measures pending in both houses (S.2159/H.R.4301) that would prohibit states from authorizing and conducting Internet gaming, which was authorized by law in New Jersey in 2013, and has been lawfully implemented by several Atlantic City casinos under strict regulation and control by the State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“Internet gaming has begun to yield benefits for our state’s economy, over $80 million has been wagered, and that’s generating sorely needed tax revenue that’s serving as a stimulus for Atlantic City at this critical time,” said Mazzeo (D-Atlantic), who represents Atlantic City. “We know internet gambling hasn’t reached its full potential and a federal prohibition against Internet gaming would directly and negatively impact Atlantic City. In particular it would dismantle the investments that we’ve already made and it would eliminate the potential for New Jersey to become a national hub that would generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue.”

Specifically, (S.2159/H.R.4301), known as the “Restoration of America’s Wire Act,” would prohibit the transmission by wire communication of any bet or wager or of information assisting in the placement of any bet or wager, including Internet gaming. If enacted as federal law, these bills would invalidate the conduct of Internet gaming in New Jersey.

Recently, billionaire Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson told The Washington Post that he is “willing to spend whatever it takes” to ban internet gaming. His SuperPAC “The Coalition to Stop Internet Gaming” has already spent close to a million dollars in their effort to shut down a profitable business in New Jersey with the potential for tens of millions more to be spent for this effort.

Mazzeo noted that passage of these measures as federal law would be detrimental to the interests of New Jersey, which has been at the forefront of a well-regulated casino gaming industry since the 1970’s.

The resolution was approved by the Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee and now awaits consideration by the full Assembly.