US Officials Want Support from New President Regarding iGambling

by Jim Hall

Vincent MazzeoNJ Governor Chris Christie is the latest to sign on to a bill that will hopefully earn the support of President Donald Trump and his administration in regards to online gambling.

In January, Representative Vincent Mazzeo of New Jersey created a joint resolution seeking to provide the president of the United States with information on how online casinos are vital to the Atlantic City area. New Jersey Chris Christie just recently signed on to the bill in the hopes that the new administration will be willing to oppose any legislation that will keep individual states from legalizing and regulating online gambling.

The joint resolution was created to show the president as well as Congress how online gambling as helped Atlantic City and the state has a whole. The resolution is an opinion, one of which the legislators who signed on hope that Trump and his administration will agree to.

Mazzeo and the many other officials like Governor Chris Christie hope to see states continue to have the right to pass legislation legalizing online gambling as well as putting regulations in place to protect consumers. New Jersey is the leader when it comes to online gambling, having easily surpassed Delaware and Nevada in revenue earnings when it comes to poker and casino gaming online.

Other states that have shown interest in becoming involved in the industry look to New Jersey to see how they regulate their iGaming industry as well as technology used such as geolocation providers. New Jersey has succeeded in offering quality online gaming and other states want to be just as successful. If any state can persuade Trump to avoid hurting this industry, it is New Jersey.

Say No To RAWA

One of the main problems for the online gambling industry of the United States is the Restoration of America’s Wire Act or RAWA. This legislation would reverse a decision made by the United States Department of Justice in 2011 to the Wire Act of 1961. The Act was updated to current times and allow for states to legalize online gambling just not sports betting.

In the resolution, Mazzeo states that measures such as RAWA would prohibit the transmission of wire communication of any bet or wager including internet gaming. The goal is to show the president and his administration that this change is not needed and that legalization and regulation of the industry is a must for Atlantic City to strive as well as for consumer protections.

Online Gambling Supports Land Based Venues

In New Jersey, it has been clearly proven that online gambling has helped the land-based industry. For years, casinos in Atlantic City struggled, with four shutting down in 2014 and one last year. With only seven operators currently offering casino gaming, the venues are finally seeing gains. The online gambling industry has actually played a major role in the economic recovery of the gaming industry in the region.

Land based gaming win through June was up 1.5% but online gambling was up 28%. This brought the bottom line of casinos up 3.5%. Online casino operations cannot take place in the state without a land based partner. This is how the industry is helping to pull up the land based gaming venues. Through June, online gambling provided operators with $121.4 million, which is about $26 million more than where the industry was this same time last year.

According to Mazzeo, a federal prohibition against online gambling would directly impact New Jersey in a negative manner by dismantling the investments made by the state as well as casinos in Atlantic City.

Hopefully, the resolution will reach the ears of Trump and his administration and they will settle on not touching the Wire Act for now so that other states can pass legislation to get into the industry and New Jersey can continue to succeed.