Lesniak States Gaming Bill Probably Won’t Go to Vote Until Fall

June 8, 2012
Lesniak States Gaming Bill Probably Won’t Go to Vote Until Fall

New Jersey state senator Raymond Lesniak is still working on getting his bill through Congress. He is still optimistic that the bill will make it through both houses of the legislature and get signed by Gov. Christie. However, he speculates that may not happen as early as he would have liked.

Lesniak was hoping that he could have put the bill through the Senate last Thursday. However, democratic lawmakers withdrew support for the bill as Christie started to appear hesitant again. Some experts speculate that Christie is interested in immersing himself in the presidential election, possibly as Mitt Romney’s vice-president if elected. This may be causing him to back off on supporting controversial bills such as Lesniak’s gaming proposal.

Lesniak has another obstacle he may need to overcome. Sheldon Adelson has stated that he is against online gaming legislation. The billionaire is a big financial supporter to many politicians. Adelson pledged $10 million to Newt Gingrich’s campaign for president earlier in the year. If Christie thinks that Adelson is going to be pledging to Romney’s campaign, he may be reluctant to pass a bill that would contradict Adelson’s stance on online gaming.

Christie did become more optimistic about sports betting again. Many proponents of online gaming were enthusiastic by his new stance, but Lesniak didn’t share their enthusiasm. Lesniak said he couldn’t count on Christie supporting an online gaming bill that is very similar to the one that he vetoed last year. Therefore, Lesniak said the senators are rewriting the bill before putting it to a vote. This could take a few months.

Lesniak remains confident that the bill can be passed, but acknowledges that stalling makes its future more uncertain. He said that supporters of gaming legislation are going to need to wait and see what the future holds.

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