Gov. Chris Christie may not be very popular in his home state. But he’s still doing his best to protect the New Jersey casino industry, NJ online gambling included.

Christie signs NJ iGaming resolution

On Friday, Christie signed a resolution about online gambling that was adopted by the state Assembly and Senate earlier. It specifically asks the administration of President Donald Trump not to pursue a federal ban of online gambling.

New Jersey, of course, has had online gambling since 2013. Any federal ban would not only stop new states from regulating online poker and casino games, but it would also shut down the legal gambling that takes place in the Garden State.

The resolution was one of many pieces that Christie signed on Friday. A bill legalizing and regulating fantasy sports in the state was not one of them.

Christie wants the federal government to stay out of New Jersey’s business when it comes to online gambling, as he’s been presiding over a turnaround in Atlantic City. Online gambling has been a consistent revenue provider for the state’s casinos and government coffers.

New Jersey, of course, is also fighting federal law in an attempt to legalize sports betting. That case will likely be heard later this year in the US Supreme Court.

What’s in the resolution?

Here is what the resolution says:

This resolution urges United States President Donald Trump, members of President Trump’s administration, and Congress to oppose any measures and actions that would prohibit states to conduct Internet gaming. Recent measures in Congress, if pursued by the new Congress and supported by the President and his administration, 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.

In his confirmation hearing as nominee for United States Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions indicated his desire to revisit the federal Justice Department ruling that currently allows the states to authorize Internet gaming. These measures and actions would invalidate New Jersey’s implementation of Internet gaming, which the State authorized in 2013 to be conducted by Atlantic City casinos in partnership with their Internet gaming affiliates and under strict regulation and control by the State’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

A federal prohibition against Internet gaming would directly and negatively impact New Jersey by dismantling the investments that the State and Atlantic City casinos have already made to implement and regulate Internet gaming, taking away the economic and employment opportunities already realized by the State and its residents, and foreclosing the future potential of Internet gaming to generate tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue, create high-tech software jobs, and foster valuable business ventures for Atlantic City casinos in this State.

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Why is the iGaming resolution even necessary?

Pretty much every year, there’s an effort in Congress to introduce or pass an iGaming ban. A recent effort appears to have been thwarted before it really got started. That’s the same fate that most previous efforts have met.

While many hypothesized that Trump’s history in casinos would be a boon to iGaming and the gaming industry, it’s not clear if that’s the case. Sessions, as noted in the resolution, has not taken a friendly stance toward online gambling.

While Sessions has recused himself from matters regarding online gambling, certainly the Congressional avenue remains a constant threat.

It’s particularly interesting in that Christie — at least at one point — had the ear of the president during his 2016 campaign. Will Trump and his administration take notice of what Christie and New Jersey have to say?

Image credit: L.E.MORMILE / Shutterstock.com