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Online gambling at the casinos on the agenda with NJ lawmakers

Online gambling at the casinos on the agenda with NJ lawmakers For years online gambling has been shun from the agenda of lawmakers and politicians, but as finances dwindle, more and more localities are turning to a form of internet gambling, such as casinos and betting, to help fill in the gap in the coffers. The state of New Jersey appears to be on the frontline in the United States when it comes to online gambling. The Democrats in New Jersey unveiled a new package this week that would boost the casinos and horse racing industry in the state, going as far as calling for legalization of online gambling within the state.

 The Atlantic City casinos are facing increasing competition from the surrounding states, while competing with the local horse betting industry, which in turn competes for gamblers with the casinos. But lawmakers are looking to correct the trend and boost both gambling industries by allowing new forms of wagers at the race tracks, along with making internet betting legal within the state of New Jersey. Democrats are also looking to put sports betting on the ballot and let the residents decide if it should be allowed if made legal. "This is a comprehensive approach that will protect the jobs our casinos and racetracks support, and prove that solutions do not have to come with winners and losers. If we act quickly to get this plan in place, everyone will win," Sen. James Whelan commented.

 The suggestions in the package stem from the gambling summit in Atlantic City earlier this year and attempt to save the $1 billion gambling industry in the state. According to lawmakers and industry professionals, over 15,000 jobs are at stake in the horse racing industry alone. "The gaming summit made it absolutely clear that the Band-Aid approaches of the past would do nothing to secure the future. We need bold incentives to make Atlantic City once again the gaming and entertainment destination it was when the casinos first opened," Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D - Cape May) was quoted.

 The new gambling plan could be put in a bill-form as soon as a month from now, according to leaders. At this point it remains unknown the casinos' and possibly sports betting operators' framework for online gambling in New Jersey.

 Published on 10/19/2010

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