The New Jersey Assembly unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Assemblymember Vincent Mazzeo. It calls on the Trump administration to reject all attempts at instituting a federal online gambling ban.
The final vote tally was 75-0 with five members not voting.
What the NJ online gambling resolution says
The summary of the resolution, “Urges United States President Trump, members of his administration, and Congress to oppose measures and actions to prohibit states from authorizing and conducting Internet gaming.”
The full text reads:
“The Legislature of the State of New Jersey urges United States President Donald Trump, President Trump’s administration, and Congress to oppose any federal measures and actions to 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.
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.”
What impact will the resolution have?
The short answer to the above question is, close to zero.
The longer answer can be found in back in January when Mazzeo introduced the resolution:
“Resolutions of this sort (whether the legislature pass them or not) are largely symbolic. They often target the home state’s congressional delegation. By and large, these resolutions convey the feelings of the lawmakers and constituents back home, and what effect a specific piece of federal legislation would have on the area.”
Assembly sets a new bar for iGaming
The resolution is not the first to weigh in on online gambling. But this does mark the first time a resolution of this kind has passed a legislative chamber.
A 2014 resolution introduced by Mazzeo and three other members of the New Jersey Assembly was able to pass the Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee, but was never voted on by the full Assembly.
A similar resolution in neighboring Pennsylvania didn’t even make it that far. In 2014, Pennsylvania State Rep. Mike Sturla’s resolution opposing federal action on online gambling never made it past its initial introduction.