Understanding A.C. Online Gaming

Amodeo Appears On Fox Business to Explain Garden State’s New Internet Gambling Law

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

We’ve all heard that online gambling is coming to New Jersey. But what exactly does that mean? And what are the implications for Atlantic City? And the state’s overall revenues?

Our old friend Asm. John Amodeo (R-Atlantic County) appeared on FOX Business Network’s the other day to discuss the new law which allows Atlantic City casinos to operate websites featuring online blackjack, slots, poker and other betting games. Lots of good information for interested parties:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rQ04y0HNkEI

What do you think, Save Jerseyans? When he signed the bill into law earlier this week, Governor Christie explained that New Jersey was “opening the way for new opportunity to bolster our efforts to continue the revival of Atlantic City, its casinos and entertainment offerings…”

This was a critical decision, and one that I did not make lightly. But with the proper regulatory framework and safeguards that I insisted on including in the bill, I am confident that we are offering a responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits to New Jersey as a whole. I want to thank the sponsors for working quickly to include my recommendations to improve the bill.”

If you can’t watch the Amodeo video posted above, I’ve included the text of Amodeo’s interview below the fold…

Dennis Kneale:  “And the winner is New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie signs a bill legalizing online gambling in the GardenState and it could not come at a better time.  Slammed by competition from neighboring states, Atlantic City facing rapidly shrinking revenue, the gaming city’s once one than more than 5 billion dollar gambling industry, swindled down to nearly half that in the past few years since the slump.  Maybe letting blackjack fans bet from their basements is the states saving grace.  New Jersey’s state Assemblyman John Amodeo, I hope I’m saying that right, is co-sponsor of this bill that just passed, and he is currently on the Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee joins me know.  Thank you for being with us Assemblyman, and tell us what are 3 great things that you like about this new online gambling law in your state?”

Amodeo:  “Well Dennis, first thanks for having me on, and I just think that this is an opportunity.  Online gaming, the internet gaming bill has been a work a progress since as far back as 2010.  We know that Governor Christie vetoed the original legislation of 2011 and this assembly bill went in front of him back a month ago, almost 50 days ago and on February 7th he made 5 strong recommendations that were conditionally vetoed, recommendations on the Governors behalf to actually make it a better piece of legislation and we were all on a bipartisan, on board to agree to all his conditions.

Dennis:  “Yes, Sir, now New Jersey is going to charge a 15% tax on the gambling revenues which is almost doubled the 8% tax that you charge on gambling in Atlantic City. Yet online gambling does not raise the states costs at all of police enforcement, of road building, so why are you doubling the tax rate of online gambling?”

Amodeo:  “Well the Governor had a concern about addressing issues with compulsive gambling treatment programs, and the original legislation had 10% in it, and we certainly championed his recommendation of going to 15% because of all the benefits that the casino revenue fund receives, not only from the 8% from the original Gaming Casino Act but from this 15%. It helps support with the decline in revenues as you stated earlier; this will help support the senior programs, the programs for the disabled, the pad, transportation programs, meals on wheels, many programs that help the elderly or disabled who live in our state.  So I champion that effort.

Dennis  “Couldn’t you guys in trying to help Atlantic City which has gone from 5 or 6 billion down to 3 billion in gambling revenues.  Couldn’t you be hurting Atlantic City, since now I can gamble from my basement in New Jersey and I don’t have to bother going to Atlantic City to do it?”

Amodeo:  “Well, good question, but it has been going on for years. Offshore enterprises and gambling establishments have had internet gaming, this gives us the opportunity to not only regulate it, but to make sure that we put protections and transparency in place and also be able to win on the revenue side, rather than having the strong revenues leaving not only the United States but even the state of New Jersey, for the ones that participate in the illegal offshore enterprises offering internet gaming.  This allows us to keep it within our jurisdictional boundaries within the state of New Jersey and to be able to draw that revenue and to increase that tax revenue to help the residents and the seniors.”

Dennis:  “Ok efforts are for half a billion dollars or so in gambling revenue that first full year and you would get 15% of that. Thanks and congratulations on your breakthrough, thank you Assemblyman have a good day.”

Amodeo:  “Dennis, thank you.”

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