Online Casino Decision Day Looms For New Jersey’s Christie

Governor Chris Christie has the strong support of New Jersey residents, as the governor has been steady and decisive when it comes to decisions he has made during his term in office. One issue, however, that has Christie thinking is whether or not regulated online gambling will help the Atlantic City gaming industry.

“I don’t know that it really will help Atlantic City,” said Christie. “I’m concerned that it may drive traffic away from Atlantic City, that if people can gamble in their own homes on their laptops, why are they going to go to Atlantic City? I think that’s contrary to what we’re trying to accomplish here.”

While Christie has reservations, he has not decided yet whether he will veto a bill that has passed the New Jersey Legislature regulating online casinos. Christie has previously vetoed online gambling legislation, but proponents thought this time the governor was coming around to the idea of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue for AC casinos and the state.

The other idea Christie is pondering is whether online gambling opens the door for additional addiction. The governor explained this week that betting your paycheck in the comfort of your own house is much easier than having to drive to Atlantic City to gamble.

Despite the governor’s reservations on the issue, experts have weighed in with their opinion on the expanded gambling, and most have a positive outlook on what online gambling would do for Atlantic City casinos.

“In our opinion, this is one of the last chances the governor has to provide a lifeline to Atlantic City casinos,” said Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Dennis Farrell Jr.. The analysts submitted his opinion as part of a report that was put together on the gaming bill.

Christie acknowledged that time is getting short for him to come to a decision.

“I was reading it over the weekend and reading the briefing from my staff in depth and I’m going to have to make a decision in the next couple of days.”

One of the reasons time is of such the essence is that neighboring states have expanded their gambling industries, and with each new casino that goes up in the Northeast, customers are being pulled from Atlantic City.

Massachusetts lawmakers authorized casinos late last year, joining Maine, New York, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania as East Coast states that have approved new gaming facilities over the past three years.

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