Online gambling is very successful in the state of New Jersey. Figures released just last week show that the casinos in Atlantic City were able to earn $245 million in 2017, which is an increase of close to 25% when compared to 2016. The industry continues to grow, and lawmakers of the state want to make sure that nothing interferes. Last Thursday, a letter was sent to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in the hopes of seeing no federal interference within the online gambling industry of the state.
According to whyy.org, the letter was signed by Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, two democratic senators, along with several others, including Republican Representatives Tom MacArthur, Leonard Lance and Frank LoBiondo. In the letter, the lawmakers asked the Justice Department not to rescind their legal opinion from 2011 regarding the Wire Act of 1961, which makes online gambling legal based on federal law.
Online gambling is a thriving industry for the state, having helped the remaining casinos in Atlantic City recover. The online earnings helped to make up the difference from land-based earnings and stopped anymore casinos from shutting down. In 2014, four casinos shut down while 2016 saw one more venue close.
The letter by the democrats and republicans of New Jersey was in response to a letter sent back in November to the Justice Department by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Lindsey Graham, asking the Department to change their decision and allow Congress to determine whether or not online gambling should be legal.
In their letter, the two senators echoed the same warning that opponents of iGaming have made over the years, stating that online gambling could create fundamental changes to the gambling industry as it has the power to turn every device, from a personal computer to a smart phone into a casino that is open 24/7.
Now, lawmakers of New Jersey are fighting back as they say their state has been able to prove that iGaming can be provided in a safe and responsible manner.
The Justice Department has received the letter from the lawmakers from NJ but has yet to make an announcement as to if they are considering changing their opinion from 2011 or if the decision will remain the same.