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  1. #1
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    Default Breaking News: Christie vetoes NJ online poker bill

    Today was decision day for N.J. Gov. Chris Christie. He had to decide whether or not to sign a bill that would legalize and regulate online gambling in the state. Well the verdict is in, and according to the Wall Street Journal, Christie has vetoed the online gambling proposal:

    The governorís counselís office told lawmakers he vetoed the bill Thursday morning.

    In a press conference before the veto was made public, Christie said he would veto the bill if he had legal or constitutional questions. ďIíve got to make sure that if I were to sign something like that that it would both be legal and constitutional,Ē he said.

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    This is very disappointing, but not a surprise based on Caesars "recommendation".


    Constitutional questions??? I would like to hear what they are...
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    GPWA Managing Editor Vin Narayanan has written a piece on today's decision:

    DRAMA SURROUNDS VETO OF NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING BILL

    3 March 2011
    By Vin Narayanan

    Gov. Chris Christie has vetoed legislation that would have made New Jersey the first American state to license and regulate online gambling. The absolute veto came hours after it appeared only a conditional veto would happen.

    The legislation, which would have given Atlantic City casinos the ability to offer online gambling to New Jersey residents, passed the State Assembly by a 63-11-3 vote and the State Senate by a 35-2 vote in January.

    In a message to the Legislature explaining his veto, Christie said the online gambling bill violated the New Jersey Constitution.

    "The State Constitution explicitly requires casino gambling to be restricted to the territorial limits of Atlantic City," Christie wrote. "Senate Bill No. 490 seeks to avoid this requirement by deeming all Internet wagers as being placed in Atlantic City, even if the person placing the bet is outside the boundaries of the city. In my view, the creation of a legal fiction deeming all wagers to have 'originated' in Atlantic City cannot overcome the clear and unambiguous language of the State Constitution."

    "Moreover, certain provisions set forth in this legislation are not consistent with my administration's policy objectives, such as the continuation of public subsidies of horse racing," Christie added.

    Christie said he was also worried about the development of Internet gambling cafes in New Jersey. "Nothing contained in the legislation would prohibit commercial establishments outside of Atlantic City such as nightclubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and amusement parks from offering Internet gambling opportunities in order to attract patrons or customers," Christie said.

    At the end of his veto message, Christie suggested it would take a public referendum to change his mind about online gambling.

    "The expansion of gambling has been slow and cautious," Christie wrote. "The public has expressed concerns regarding the potential ills associated with gambling and has demanded that gambling be closely scrutinized and regulated to ensure that it is administered in a fair and legitimate manner. This public sentiment has resulted in an established line of court rulings that have consistently required direct voter approval for each new form of gambling introduced in this state."

    Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who sponsored the online gaming legislation, said he would work to bring new online gaming legislation to the governor's desk.

    "We need to work as quickly as possible to bring this bill back to the governor's desk, and position Atlantic City to become the Silicon Valley of the high-tech gaming sector," Lesniak said in a statement. "New Jersey can still become the first state in the nation to offer legalized Internet wagering, and by leading the way, we position the Garden State to reap the benefits of getting in on the ground floor of a multi-million dollar market."

    Sen. Jim Whelan also said he was ready to work on getting another online gaming bill to the governor's desk this year.

    "We want to be the first. We want to get there first," Whelan told Casino City.

    "I would have preferred (Christie) signed the bill, or secondly a conditional veto. But he has left the door open for a bill in the future."

    "We can address the cyber caf? issue," Whelan added. "The horse racing issue -- that was frankly part of getting the votes in the state Legislature. In a perfect world, I'd rather not have that either. But we had to take care of the horse racing industry. We just need to make it clearer that this is temporary help for the industry."

    "I've spoken with Senator Lesniak, and we're going to put together a bill that addresses these concerns," Whelan said.

    Earlier this morning, it looked like Christie was going to issue just a conditional veto, which would have allowed the Legislature to send the bill back to the governor with amendments in place through a simple majority vote.

    "At the beginning of the day, Senator Lesniak thought he had an understanding on what changes (the governor) wanted to see if there was a conditional veto," said Joe Brennan, chairman of the Interactive Media & Gaming Association, which worked with Lesniak on the bill."

    "It's a full veto now," Brennan said. "The governor wants it to go to a public referendum. We know it would pass based on a referendum. We used the governor's own pollster and found that 63 percent would vote for (online gaming)."

    "I was surprised when the governor changed his mind in the last half of the day," Brennan added. "But my surprise is incidental."

    "New Jersey had taken the lead in establishing itself as the center for Internet gambling and the jobs it could have created and the investment would have drawn could have helped the state," Brennan added. "Now it looks like New Jersey will miss out on the first mover advantage that it was in position to grab."

    "Certain Nevada-based casinos and offshore operators opposed the bill," Brennan said. "Maybe it was their lobbying (that killed it). Who knows? Regardless of what the governor did today, people are going to bet on the Internet. They're just not going to do it on a site licensed by the state of New Jersey. I'm not saying I encourage it, but that's the reality."
    Last edited by The Buzz; 3 March 2011 at 5:47 pm.

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  6. #4
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    We could see this coming actually.

    And indeed what are the legal and constitutional parameters to be taken in consideration in this instance?
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    OK. Things have changed again. This has moved from a conditional veto to a full veto. Details coming soon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinism View Post
    OK. Things have changed again. This has moved from a conditional veto to a full veto. Details coming soon.
    Buzzy was kind enough to update the previous post that was made (thanks Buzzy!!), so the entire story is there. I still have people returning my calls, so I have a few more details to add in. Hopefully, Buzzy will be kind enough to refresh the story when I'm done.

    The updated story includes the change to an absolute veto and the drama surrounding the governor's decision.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vinism View Post
    Buzzy was kind enough to update the previous post that was made (thanks Buzzy!!), so the entire story is there. I still have people returning my calls, so I have a few more details to add in. Hopefully, Buzzy will be kind enough to refresh the story when I'm done.

    The updated story includes the change to an absolute veto and the drama surrounding the governor's decision.
    Buzzy just posted my final update (see above) for the day on the New Jersey story. It now includes comments from a pair of New Jersey senators who say they will get another online gaming bill on the governor's desk this year. Thanks to all of you for reading.

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    not surprising but maybe another state will follow that requires more taxes money

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    One thing I hadn't considered, is online gaming at kiosk style booths at clubs, bars and other social areas.

    Making online gambling more accessible to a broader audience while not breaking any jurisdiction.

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    bad, bad news
    but for senator this step is really crucial, signing such bill can close political career if after this bill there isn't tremendous economy growth

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    I think there's a need for a stronger support the next fight around. Very disappointing. What reasons could they be looking to pass it? A good share perhaps?

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    Perhaps the government are just aiming for good for the residents of NJ. Although we cannot denied the fact that it can give the economy a big revenue. Or maybe the bill was with few inconsistency for which it doesn't legalized. Somewhat we should give thanks to those senators who still have positive outlook for the next year gambling bill proposal. And for that year, enthusiast should have to support so that many can justified it in case of rejection.
    Last edited by cassy; 8 March 2011 at 5:41 pm.

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    Will this be good or bad for Governor Christie? knowing that he'll run for a position in the next election.

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    If I were Christie I'd also make a veto . Because of simple perspectives of elections.

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    Maybe Gov. Christie's decision was greatly affected by the objection of most of the NJ residents in online gambling legalization.

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