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New Jersey asks the Trump administration to oppose a federal ban to online gambling

January 28, 2017

Recently, a resolution presented itself to the New Jersey state legislature by the Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo. It asks the Trump administration to oppose a federal ban to online gambling, and the resolution materializes after the attorney generals of 10 states wrote a new petition to the new administration. They want to return the laws back to the original interpretation of the Wire Act. In 2011, the Wire Act of 1960 prohibited gamblers from betting alone, and the law paved the way for state regulation.

New Jersey worries that with Trump's pick for US attorney general, Jeff Sessions, the senator of Alabama, his recent declaration of how he felt shocked about the 2011 movement could lead to a return to the old law. Ray Lesniak, the senator of New Jersey promised a fast-action lawsuit if Sessions messed with the Wire Act's current interpretation. Trump has expressed no opinion either direction about his stance to online gambling. However, it seems unlikely he will support a federal ban. On the other hand, during Trump's candidacy, Sheldon Adelson, a billionaire casino magnate and number one hater of online gambling, did give $25 million to a Trump Super Pac. 

The resolution may not present a threat to New Jersey's online gambling because many times, the resolutions of this type are more representative than anything else. Whether legislature passes them or not does not matter as much, and they normally target the congressional delegation of a home state. Mostly, these resolutions express the attitudes of the lawmakers and how a specific piece of legislation will affect an area. A rollback on this law could have disastrous consequences where New Jersey's gambling industry would cost the state $29.5 million every year in annual revenue from taxes. In addition, it means a huge financial loss for investors, and a loss of thousands of jobs.

New Jersey joins one out of the three states with some level of legalized online gambling within the US. The other two states are Delaware and Nevada, but other states throughout the United States have started to follow suit with the legalization and regulation of online gambling. The prohibition of online gambling will lose the potential to generate millions of dollars every year in federal taxes. 


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