Posts Tagged ‘Sen.’

NJ State Sen. Ray Lesniak Introduces Bill to Expand Online Gambling Internationally

 NJ State Sen. Ray Lesniak Introduces Bill to Expand Online Gambling Internationally

One of online poker’s most fervent supporters in the political world, New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak, has one more trick up his sleeve before he retires. Late last week, Lesniak introduced a bill that would effectively allow New Jersey to enter into agreements with other countries in order to share player liquidity.

The bill, S3536, amends the portion of New Jersey law that legalizes online gambling. Most of the bill is what already exists, detailing the history of gambling in the state, the benefits of gambling (as well as regulation) for the state, and the legalization of internet gaming.

One of the key points of New Jersey’s online gambling law is that the gaming servers must be located in Atlantic City:

….all hardware, software, and other equipment that is involved with Internet gaming will be located in casino facilities in Atlantic City or in other facilities in Atlantic City owned or leased by a casino licensee and thereby considered to be part of a casino hotel facility that are secure, inaccessible to the public, and specifically designed to house that equipment, and where the equipment will be under the complete control of a casino licensee or its Internet gaming affiliate.

But then comes Senator Lesniak’s amendment. He starts by explaining that online gambling has been of great financial benefit to the state and that the market for internet gaming internationally is growing quickly:

In the coming years, the global online gambling market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate, and the largest share of online gambling revenue comes from Europe totaling nearly $ 15 billion a year and growing at a faster rate than the rest of the world; and

Since its inception under P.L.2013, c.27 (C.5:12-95.17 et al.), Internet gaming has resulted in economic benefits to Atlantic City and to this State, and is estimated to have produced, within the first three years of implementation, approximately $ 998 million in economic output, over 3,000 jobs, $ 219 million in employee wages, and $ 124 million in tax revenues, of which $ 84 million derive from Internet gaming revenue alone. The provisions in this act, P.L. c. (C. ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), permitting Internet gaming equipment to be located outside of the territorial boundaries of Atlantic City if necessary to facilitate the conduct of international wagering, would increase the economic benefit of Internet gaming to Atlantic City and to this State.

And then, right near the end of the bill, comes the kicker, “The division may permit Internet gaming equipment to be located outside of the territorial boundaries of Atlantic City if the division deems it necessary to facilitate the conduct of international wagering permitted under this section.”

Thus, if this bill passed, poker players located in New Jersey would presumably eventually have the ability to play on sites not based in New Jersey. One would assume the New Jersey regulators would have to approve of individual operators and come to agreements with regulators in other countries. When this happens and the player pools of international sites merge with those of New Jersey, player traffic would jump, hopefully attracting more and more players and, in turn, generate more tax dollars for the state.

The current New Jersey legislative session ends January 9, 2018, so Lesniak has a month if he wants to see the bill passed while he is still a Senator.

The post NJ State Sen. Ray Lesniak Introduces Bill to Expand Online Gambling Internationally appeared first on Poker News Daily.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham is Still Trying to Get RAWA Passed

 Sen. Lindsey Graham is Still Trying to Get RAWA Passed

Failed Republican presidential candidate, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, is best known to poker fans as Sheldon Adelson’s jock-carrier and the Senator who introduced Adelson’s Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) last year. RAWA, if it even became law, would place a ban on online gambling in the United States, wiping out the current legal, regulated internet gaming industries in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware. So far, RAWA and its champions have failed miserably, but Graham is still at it, this time inserting some RAWA-like language into the Senate Appropriations Bill.

The gigantic 100-plus page bill, officially titled, “Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, And Related Agencies Appropriations Bill,” authorizes billions of dollars in government spending. It is something that almost nobody that wants to remain sane would ever read in its entirety, which is what makes it so potentially useful for Graham.

There is one small paragraph in the bill which, according to Gambling Compliance, was added “at the request of Senator Graham.” It reads:

Internet Gambling- Since 1961, the Wire Act has prohibited nearly all forms of gambling over interstate wires, including the Internet. However, beginning in 2011, certain States began to permit Internet gambling. The Committee notes that the Wire Act did not change in 2011. The Committee also notes that the Supreme Court of the United States has stated that `criminal laws are for courts, not for the Government, to construe.’ Abramski v. U.S., 134 S.Ct. 2259, 2274 (2014) (internal citation omitted).

As you can see, it is really just a statement of incorrect opinion. It does nothing to change the law. But there was a reason Graham had that added. Essentially, it would lay the groundwork for a future online gambling ban.

The way it would work, according to dailysurge.com* is that the language would also get inserted into House’s version of the Appropriations Bill. The site continues:

What they plan to do is to get these two bills passed with an accompanying report calling for the law to be changed to ban all gaming and gambling.  Then they will add the language into a conference report after the bills pass the House and the Senate.  This is called an “air drop,” because the House and Senate will never get to vote on this provision as an amendment.

The legislative language will be buried in a giant conference report that will be presented to the House and Senate as a take-it-or-leave it proposition.  Insiders use this trick when they want to get something passed that does not have majority support.  They attach an unpopular special interest earmark to an appropriations bill in a way that makes it impossible for opponents to strip it out.

Now that many sites are reporting on this, the hope is that Graham’s addition is no longer invisible. It is entirely possible that Rep. John Culberson, the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, will remove it and we can all go on laughing at Graham and Adelson. But while we have seen both parties soundly reject RAWA and the crony capitalism it represents, this continued shady politics (which is all too common) should still make people at least a little nervous.

*While it sounds like the dailysurge knows what it is talking about, always take information from an extreme-right wing site (or extreme left) like that with a grain of salt. Put it this way: articles on that site right now include “BRAVE BEAUTY: First Muslim Miss USA Converts To Christianity,” “Mizzou Pays The Price For Supporting #BlackLivesMatter,” and, coincidentally, “Lindsey Graham is Now a Global Warming Alarmist.”

Cover photo: “Lindsey Graham practicing his card counting skills for the Underdog Debate” by DonkeyHotey is licensed under CC BY 4.0

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