Sen. Lesniak Says Internationalizing Internet Gaming Would Create Revenue

NJ Spotlight News | December 17, 2013 | Politics
Sen. Lesniak hopes to allow those outside the U.S. to legally use NJ internet gambling sites.

Internet gambling has been legalized in New Jersey for those within the state’s borders, but a new bill proposes that internet gambling in the state go international. Sen. Raymond Lesniak (D) told NJTV News Managing Editor Mike Schneider that allowing those outside the country to gamble online would provide New Jersey with a great opportunity.

“I called it the Silicon Valley of internet. I’m now referring to it as the mecca of internet gaming,” said Lesniak. “It’s a $30 billion global market and we’re missing out on that. And this international gaming license will allow anyone across the globe except anyone in the United States because it’s precluded except for our own little niche that I carved out for New Jersey.”

If internet gaming were to go international, Lesniak says that it would be an opportunity to bring jobs to Atlantic City and get revenues within New Jersey.

About 5,000 to 15,000 high tech jobs could be generated depending how many operators the state can attract, according to Lesniak.

The effort to override Gov. Chris Christie’s veto on a measure that would ban pork farms from keeping pregnant pigs in pens is on hold, but Lesniak hopes that’s not for long since he says the living conditions are cruel to the pigs who are pregnant 80 percent of their lives.

Lesniak had accused Christie of vetoing the bill because Iowa is the site of the first Republican presidential primary and also the headquarters of the National Pork Council. After being one vote short, Lesniak says that he think he’s going to get the vote he needs and will try to override the veto before the end of this session.

The effort to legislate same-sex marriage has also been put on hold over concerns that same-sex couples’ rights could be limited rather than expanded. As a co-prime sponsor of marriage equality, Lesniak says that he would like to get same-sex marriage into law because it would give an extra added protection to couples since right now there is just a superior court decision.

“I’m sure we’ll move something in the new session to establish in law that same-sex couples can get married,” said Lesniak.