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Caesar’s Frowns on New Jersey Online Gambling Bill

22 February 2011 by admin

Turns out there may be more than personal political aspirations that are holding up the New Jersey bill to legalize and regulate online gambling. True there is still speculation that the Republican Party is tossing Governor Chris Christie’s name around for the 2012 presidential ticket, but it seems that Caesar’s are also not so fond of New Jersey going with online gambling.

Caesar’s owns three brick and mortar casinos in New Jersey with forty brick and mortar casinos scattered around the United States; they also own Casino Windsor in Ontario up in Canada. And actually, Canada’s direction in online gambling is somewhat playing a part in Caesar’s opposition to Senator Raymond Lesniak’s bill. See, while the Republicans are holding the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in place to save our souls, the Canadians are is moving forward, preparing a bill that would move them closer to having a nationally legalized online gambling network.

Ideally, Caesar’s would like for Canada to keep moving forward and legalize online gambling; and at the same time they would like to see the US repeal the UIGEA so that all of Caesar’s brick and mortar casinos could operate online casinos or partner with third party operators. This would provide Caesar’s with the best possible financial outcome. But Caesar’s fear is that if New Jersey legalizes online gambling on their own state level it would mean that more states would follow New Jersey’s example; and if other states, such as California and Florida, go ahead and legalize online gambling, the fear is that federal lawmakers will lose interest in regulating online gambling on a federal level. And also there is the possibility that the states that would legalize intrastate online gambling would not be states in which Caesar’s operates.

So if Christie vetoes the New Jersey bill for online gambling he will be good in the Republican eyes for the 2012 presidential ticket, and Caesar’s will feel that they are one step closer to both Canada and the US having nationwide online gambling.

But here’s the thing. If Christie flat out vetoes the New Jersey online gambling bill, it would put a bad taste in the mouth of New Jersey residents as they could see it as Christie turning his back on his state and going back on his word to revitalize Atlantic City—and that could hurt him more politically than upsetting the conservative base in the Republican Party.

As for Caesar’s, they should understand that federal lawmakers are moving slower than Canadian syrup when it comes to nation online gambling regulation in the US. Representative Barney Frank has been working for the repeal of the UIGEA for two years, and with little to show for it—which is unfortunate. It may be that Caesar’s will have to settle for only some of their online casinos having online counterparts rather than all of them; some is better than nothing after all.

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