Internet gambling would be allowed for another 5 years under the latest change in New Jersey

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) Internet gambling in New Jersey would be permitted for at least another five years under state lawmakers’ latest proposal.

On Wednesday night, lawmakers dropped a move they made the day before to slash the extent of online casino gambling in the state. An original bill re-authorizing online betting would have given it another 10 years, but lawmakers cut that to just two years on Tuesday.

After protests from casinos, their political allies and business groups in southern New Jersey, lawmakers amended the bill yet again to extend Internet gambling for five years.

But the rationale for the original change and its modification on Wednesday remained a mystery to many in the gambling seaside resort. No explanation was provided for any of the changes, and top Democratic leaders did not respond to requests for comment on Tuesday and Wednesday.

We’re all trying to figure out what happened, said Don Guardian, a Republican Assemblyman and former mayor of Atlantic City.

The Southern New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has praised the latest change, saying the corporate group is incredibly pleased that the General Assembly has moved away from a drastic and unexpected two-year Internet gaming reauthorization through 2028. be the 10-year window the accounts sponsor originally anticipated, this adjustment still allows the sports betting industry to grow and thrive in New Jersey with a five-year security in its operating capacity.

There has been some speculation between the Atlantic City casino and political officials that the move could represent potential leverage on the city in terms of possibly increasing the amount of gambling taxes collected by the state in the future. That rate is 8% on in-person winnings from casino gamblers, 13% for online sports betting, and 15% for internet gambling.

On Tuesday, Mark Giannantonio, president of the Casino Resorts and Casino Association of New Jersey, said the full 10-year extension originally envisioned in the bill is crucial to the casino’s ongoing operations.

The reauthorization of the 10-year Internet gaming bill is vital to the continued success of the New Jersey gaming industry and the programs that are supported by the taxes collected, it said.

He declined to comment on the move to extend the law for five years.

Guardian said the two-year time frame could devastate an industry that was a rare success story in Atlantic City, whose online gambling operations raise more cash than any other state offering it.

No one is going to invest money in a company that has (an internet gambling identity) if you only have two more years, the Guardian said. Those things cost. This was what helped keep Atlantic City alive.

Since New Jersey began accepting Internet bets in November 2013, Atlantic City casinos and their online partners have won $6.29 billion from gamblers, according to the American Gaming Association, the national trade group of the casino industry. This does not include money from online sports betting.

He has been widely credited with helping Atlantic City casinos stay afloat during the 3 1/2 months of closures in 2020 at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the lean months following casinos reopening, as many gamblers remained wary of venturing into crowded indoor spaces.

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Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC


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