Despite Christie's Veto, New Jersey Seems Likely to Legalize Online Gambling

Last week New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill that would have legalized online gambling within New Jersey. His main objection was that the bill violated the New Jersey Constitution, which limits casino gambling to Atlantic City. He expressed skepticism about "a legal fiction deeming all wagers to have 'originated' in Atlantic City" because the websites would be run by casinos there, from servers within the city limits. (The operators of gambling sites based in other countries make a similar argument about bets placed by Americans, which the U.S. Justice Department has always rejected.) Gambling law expert I. Nelson Rose says Christie's constitutional argument is plausible but argues that the governor's real concern is political: He wants to run for the Republican presidential nomination at some point and is leery of alienating social conservatives. That may be true, although Rose seems off base in locating anti-gambling sentiment among "the extreme conservatives of the 'tea party,'" which focuses on fiscal policy and generally has avoided social issues. As Rose notes, "legal gambling has become more politically acceptable, even to right wingers."

In any event, The Wall Street Journal suggests that Christie, who proposed asking voters to approve online gambling in a referendum, is open to legalization:

Lawmakers supporting the bill said they were confident they could tweak the proposal to get it in shape for the governor's signature. "I know we're going to be able to get it done," said state Sen. Raymond Lesniak, a Union County Democrat.

Supporters said it was important to get moving before other states got their infrastructure up and running.

"We need to be in the forefront simply because it's going to be the wave of the future," said state Assemblyman John Amodeo, a Republican from Atlantic County. "If it went nationally and internationally, we could make a lot."

The bill is supported by most Atlantic City casinos and by the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association, a trade group that includes operators of foreign-based gambling sites who hope to break into the domestic market (in this case by supplying software to New Jersey casinos). It is opposed by Caesars Entertainment, which owns four casinos in Atlantic City. The Journal says the company is holding out for "a regulated nationwide system, which would be both more simple to manage and much more profitable for the company."

I discussed the federal crackdown on "unlawful Internet gambling" in a 2008 Reason article. Last fall I noted that brick-and-mortar casinos were warming to the idea of legalizing online gambling.

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  • prolefeed||

    Nelson Rose says Christie's constitutional argument is pretty solid but argues that the governor's real concern is political: He wants to run for the Republican presidential nomination at some point and is leery of alienating social conservatives.

    If he were to blithely ignore his state's Constitution and try to finesse the clear meaning, I'm guessing that will raise a few hackles with those voters who would be concerned about what that bodes for President Christie's adhering to the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution.

  • ||

    "plain meaning" or original intent?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: OhioOrrin,

    "plain meaning" or original intent?


    What's the difference?

  • MNG||

    There's potentially a huge difference. For example the 'original intent' of the RICO laws was for use against mob criminal conspiracies, but the plain language allows the law to be used against pro-life activists, terrorist cells and such. Etc.

  • ||

    And the state itself.

  • UrineOhio||

    Hello, piss facktery!

  • MNG||

    Gobble gobble!

  • The Gobbler||

    I hate to spoil your fun, but that isn't me.

  • MNG||

    Gobble, gobble!

    My fun is my own.

  • Devil Incohate||

    Fly that freak flag high.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Without knowing too much about the issue, I sort of agree with him. New Jersey's constitution should be amended or rewritten to be more like an actual constitution, one that establishes freedom. Then online gambling that doesn't favor only rent seeking bastards in Atlantic City can be legalized.

  • prolefeed||

    Exactly. Nothing preventing the NJ legislature from writing a bill proposing to amend the state constitution to allow gambling statewide.

    Now, if Christie vetoed THAT, then he'd be proving he's a social con hack.

    But vetoing this one? Not so much so.

  • MNG||

    Excessive straining can cause hernias and/or hemorroids...

  • Colonel_Angus||

    What the fuck are you talking about?

  • prolefeed||

    I think he's saying he's full of shit.

  • The Feds||

    Despite Christie's Veto, New Jersey Seems Likely to Legalize Online Gambling

    Not if we have anything to say about it.

  • Ska||

    Well this is the part that I'm wondering about. Let's say it passes, I go to Harrah's online, win $1,000 over the course of the year. Am I going to get a 1099 that incriminates me under federal law?

  • prolefeed||

    I think the IRS would be happy to take your money. Some other part of the federal government would be trying to shut down the casino itself.

  • Ska||

    Oh I don't doubt the IRS will be looking for the income. I'm just wondering if I'd get any follow ups from another federal agency. If not, how large does the 1099 have to be before another agency becomes interested?

  • prolefeed||

    If Harrah's is handing out 1099s like that, the non-IRS feds would likely be going after Harrah's, not the small fry.

    Still, never a good idea to leave a paper trail like that -- I'd steer clear of any legal gambling outfit that would issue paper that could be used as evidence against you. Plenty of outfits willing to take your money without documentation.

  • Your Neighborhood Bookie||

    Hear, hear!

  • ||

    There are still people out there that take those old pieces of paper, those "constitutions," seriously?

  • Ezra K.||

    kekekeke

  • Say YES to Unions!||

    ... Our current recovery, alas, is different from all previous recoveries that America has experienced since the end of World War II. The earlier ones were marked by wage increases. As the economy picked up and more revenue started flowing to business, those businesses shared the revenue with their employees. Mark Whitehouse of the Wall Street Journal looked at how businesses were dividing up the pie 18 months into every previous recovery since 1947 and found that 58 percent of their increases in productivity trickled down to their workers in increased wages.

    This time around, the numbers are starkly different. Productivity increased 5.2 percent from the recovery’s start in mid-2009 to the end of 2010, he found, but wages rose by a minuscule 0.3 percent. That means just 6 percent of productivity gains have gone to our newly more-productive workers.

    Where is the other 94 percent going? To profits, which have been increasing at a record clip for the past three quarters. To funds on the corporations’ balance sheets, which the Federal Reserve calculates at nearly $2 trillion. To shareholders. To the companies’ stock buybacks…

    Why the difference between this recovery and its predecessors? For one thing, it’s happening at a time when almost the entire private-sector workforce is nonunion – 93.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest level of nonunion employment since some time in the 19th century, before such record-keeping began. Absent unions, workers are dependent entirely on management’s willingness to share their increased revenue with their employees. And absent unions, apparently, no such willingness exists.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....inionsbox1

  • ||

    wrong thread

  • UrineOhio||

    Hello again, piss facktery! God, you're an idiot!

  • ||

    since u stalk an idiot, waz that make u?

  • DNS||

    waz that make u?

    Fluent in English with a solid command and competence of grammar and syntax, you pitiful excuse for an lolcat?

    Or, ShorterOrrin: "I can haz grammer?"

  • ||

    Tomorrow, when I get my eval that determines my raise I'd love to say to my boss that I think I should get a raise 3-5% higher than what he's prepared to give me, but 1) I know my company and industry have been hit particularly hard by the government who is squeezing us for revenue because they can and 2) there are a dozen people they could call by Noon on Friday to come in and replace me at a few thousand less than I'm getting now. Government and the unemployed people they've strung along are fucking with my opportunity and my industry has never been unionized.

  • ||

    Absent unions, workers are dependent entirely on management’s willingness to share their increased revenue with their employees. And absent unions, apparently, no such willingness exists.

    What utter horseshit. The reason wages haven't been going up along with profits is because:

    (1) benefits costs have been going up. I'd like to see an analysis of the total cost of employment to a company, not just part of it.

    (2) there is an army of structurally unemployed out there. Remember supply and demand? The supply of workers outstrips the demand; therefor, the price to hire those workers is not going up.

  • prolefeed||

    Absent unions, workers are dependent entirely on management’s willingness to share their increased revenue with their employees. And absent unions, apparently, no such willingness exists.

    Jeebus, this is full of all kinds of stupid.

    Management doesn't pay you anything out of benevolence. Willingness had nothing to do with it. And yet, the vast majority get paid more than minimum wage because workers can take their labor elsewhere if one company tries to pay below market wages.

    The reason why there are so few unionized private sector companies left is because a group of employees banding together and demanding above market monopoly wages is also a losing strategy in the long run, because once again other companies paying market wages can take away the unionized companies business.

  • MNG||

    Labor is one of the costs of doing business. Cutting back dividends and/or management compensation is just as useful for keeping overall costs down.

  • The Gobbler||

    That's mighty stupid. You cut back dividends and the capital goes elsewhere. Same with management comp.

  • MNG||

    Why wouldn't the same be true with labor?

    You're not implying that most workers have lower bargaining power than shareholders and management are you?

  • BakedPenguin||

    They can have wages somewhat higher than market and get away with it. If the wages demanded are too high, the company will either leave or die.

    Also, unions also impose work rules and refuse to be flexible about hiring practices. I knew someone who worked in a Pittsburgh steel mill one summer. He told me that they would generally work 2 hours, with 4 or 5 off. The plant was capable of pouring 5 heats a day, but only poured 2 due to union rules.

  • MNG||

    I agree unions (or any worker[s]) can kill the goose that lays the egg, I just submit this is true for management and shareholders too.

    Sensible pro-worker types like yours truly just want to see some of the share that goes to holders/management to workers. For me it's about the latter being more numerous and needing it more.

  • KPres||

    Labor isn't as important as management.

  • The Gobbler||

    "You're not implying that most workers have lower bargaining power than shareholders and management are you?"

    No, they are equals in bargining power. Which is why I always laugh at people who bitch about big business making so much more money then workers. Go buy some fucking stock instead of that bass boat.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Once again, there are multiple companies out there. Companies that cut dividends will be at a disadvantage if they need to find capital. Companies that cut management salaries will be at a disadvantage in seeking managerial employees.

  • MNG||

    1. Companies that cut dividends will be at a disadvantage if they need to find capital.
    2. Companies that cut management salaries will be at a disadvantage in seeking managerial employees.
    3. Companies that cut worker compensation will be at a disadvantage in seeking workers.

    The problem then is when 1 & 2 seem to be working but 3 not so much. I think this demonstrates labor is at disadvantage in bargaining, but hey, I could be wrong.

  • BakedPenguin||

    3. Is true as well. However, much more so in boom times. With 9-15% unemployment, not so much. Also, it depends on the field you're in.

    If you can program in Java, Javascript, PHP & SQL, you're probably in pretty good shape, even right now. If you just graduated with a Sociology degree, good luck.

  • Max Weber||

    Spare some change?

    Will work for food, strong Protestant ethic!

  • KPres||

    "The problem then is when 1 & 2 seem to be working but 3 not so much."

    #1 and #2 are more important to the success of a company than #3. Usually.

  • Moe19||

    Well of course they are, there are more of them. When was the last time you negotiated at Best Buy for a dvd? They don't have to negotiate.

  • KPres||

    "Labor is one of the costs of doing business. Cutting back dividends and/or management compensation is just as useful for keeping overall costs down."

    Not when you factor in opportunity costs.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    What, does this guy think dividends and management compensation just keep shooting up there these days?

  • Old Mexican||

    "Absent unions, workers are dependent entirely on management's willingness to share their increased revenue with their employees. And absent unions, apparently, no such willingness exists."


    If this sounds like pure claptrap, it's because it is. The author is comparing previous recoveries with this recovery - except this time around, we DON'T have a recovery, it's pure ilusion. There have been little increases in productivity; most balance sheets were improved by labor reductions, not by increased productivity.

    The guy is an economics ignoramus, the type OO loves to cuddle with.

  • ||

    "Productivity increased 5.2 percent from the recovery’s start in mid-2009 to the end of 2010, he found, but wages rose by a minuscule 0.3 percent. That means just 6 percent of productivity gains have gone to our newly more-productive workers."

    Productivity rises during times of layoffs--after a layoff, everyone who survived has to work a little bit harder for a while.

    We were having a lot of layoffs at the time, and that was contributing to the productivity gains...

    Why would you expect layoffs to translate into higher wages?!

    Is all this new to you?

  • ||

    Productivity was increasing at a time of high unemployment--but wages weren't rising? At a time of high unemployment? How is it possible that wages wouldn't rise with productivity in a time of high unemployment?!

    That's just economic illiteracy.

    Economic illiteracy makes people easily manipulated--but there's a cure for that!

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Where is the other 94 percent going? To profits, which have been increasing at a record clip for the past three quarters. To funds on the corporations’ balance sheets, which the Federal Reserve calculates at nearly $2 trillion. To shareholders. To the companies’ stock buybacks…

    Remember kids. If you're a shareholder, you don't deserve a return on your investment in any corporation. By buying in stock, you are agreeing to participate in a charity for non-management employees.

  • ||

    I agree with the fat man on this one. It sounds like he's OK with it, but doesn't want to piss away the state court's time defending a law he believes to be unconstitutional.

    I wonder if he'll abide by the legislature's overriding his veto, or will he go all Obama and just disregard it?

  • prolefeed||

    I suspect Christie would take the prudent course and let the courts be the ones that bitch-slap the legislature.

    I would suspect he would also not waste the state's money defending a law that he vetoed on the grounds it was unconstitutional.

  • Pip||

    Off-Topic, but that fire in PA baffles me. The paper said:

    Police said the children's father had left the two-story home on a working farm in dairy country not far from the state capital, to begin his rounds hauling milk around 10 p.m. Tuesday. Two children, ages 2 and 3, were watching television at the time.

    The father picked up milk and then parked the truck about a mile from home before nodding off, state police Trooper Tom Pinkerton said.

    It doesn't make sense that the mother would even know to look for him at this location. Does he always park a mile away and nod off?

  • ||

    Does he always park a mile away and nod off?

    When did unions start doing milk deliveries?

  • Zeb||

    He had 7 kids. It's probably his only quiet time.

  • ||

    If you had David Broder in your death pool, this is your lucky day. He wasn't my favorite, but compared to rest of the WAPO opinion page, he wasn't bad.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.c.....david.html

  • DNS||

    He wasn't my favorite, but compared to rest of the WAPO opinion page, he wasn't bad.

    I second this.

  • ||

    NJ Constitution, Article IV, Section 7, Clause 2

    No gambling of any kind shall be authorized by the Legislature unless the specific kind, restrictions and control thereof have been heretofore submitted to, and authorized by a majority of the votes cast by, the people at a special election or shall hereafter be submitted to, and authorized by a majority of the votes cast thereon by, the legally qualified voters of the State voting at a general election, except that, without any such submission or authorization:

    Seems pretty clear cut. Imagine that, someone who actually takes his oath seriously.

  • ||

    Now, there is an interesting libertarian case for allowing people to choose their jurisdiction via the Internet. I'm not sure that this would be the way to fight that battle, though. Gov. Christie has a point, NJ should change its constitution.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Is online poker for real money still as easy, practically speaking, as it used to be?

  • Mike M.||

    Afraid not. The crappy UIGEA bill passed by Congress a few years ago combined with the economic depression have chased many of the casual fish out of the game.

  • MNG||

    It's amazing to see so much straining around here to keep the love on the Kingpin. Sure, he struck a blow against liberty, but he had a 'plausible' legal concern.

    Paleos, your conservative slips are showing 'neath your libertarian dresses...

  • ||

    When the constitution of a state collides with liberty, the former must give away. Liberty can not be hamstrung by constitutions lest ye desire chaos, corruption, statism, mediocrity and form over substance.

    Thus, a constitutional provision which infringes upon the exercise of one's natural right to gamble, is a constitutional provision which one need not respect. It does not merit "due process"-i.e., formally changing the constitution. It is void ab initio.

  • Mike M.||

    I personally agree that it's contemptible that government enjoys a monopoly on gaming and the licensing thereof.

    If I want to make a $20 wager with a friend on the big football or basketball game, that's none of the government's damn business at any level. The ability to risk one's own money is a basic fundamental human right.

  • MNG||

    I don't think I would go that far, but if the bill was likely going to be upheld as constitutional by the courts then why not vote for it?

    Hypothetical: We suddenly have a libertarian SCOTUS which would allow a Congressional bill to strike down all federal and state infringements on a constitutional right to contract which you, the newly elected libertarian President, think is constitutionally dubious. Should a libertarian President sign it?

    * If you don't like my contract example replace "to contract" with "of privacy."

  • Colonel_Angus||

    "if the bill was likely going to be upheld as constitutional by the courts then why not vote for it?"

    Because the governor's job is not just to rubber stamp any bill just because it is likely to be found compliant with the constitution. The bill sucked, online gaming operation rights should be legalized throughout the whole state if they are to be legalized, which would in fact be in violation of the constitution. Its a good opportunity to point out that the constitution sucks and if they want online gaming legalized, it will have to be changed.

  • prolefeed||

    Your hypothetical makes no sense. You're talking about an allegedly unconstitutional bill which would end unconstitutional infringements upon constitutionally guaranteed rights.

    How the fuck is ending unconstitutional stuff itself unconstitutional?

    A libertarian president should sign libertarian legislation which is constitutional, according to the plain wording of the Constitution. Everything else should get a veto.

  • KPres||

    "It's amazing to see so much straining around here to keep the love on the Kingpin. Sure, he struck a blow against liberty, but he had a 'plausible' legal concern."

    No paleo here. I just recognize that online gambling is a relatively small liberty issue. The fact that 40% of the American people's productive output is being confiscated by the state is the single largest liberty issue, and so it's more important that Christie, a Republican who would likely reduce that figure considerably, is able to maintain a presidential resume than it is that people in New Jersey get to play online poker. If that means justifying it through some sort of appeal to constitutionalism, so be it.

    So I'll be upfront about it. I'll defend him for political reasons, as should every Libertarian. It's in the interest of greater liberty to not piss off the So-Cons at the moment. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  • Cytotoxic||

    There's not that much straining. Suspicion is warranted, but the main issue is NJ's stupid constitution trumping a good bill.

  • prolefeed||

    The issue is that the NJ legislature passed a bill that is unconstitutional, in violation of their oaths of office.

    And MNG is saying that Christie is wrong to uphold his oath of office by vetoing unconstitutional legislation, and should instead let it be enacted and let the courts be the ones to nullify the law.

    Look, Christie told the legislature what was wrong with the bill and how to fix it. The legislature can now choose to fix it by having it amend the constitution.

    If Christie then vetoes that amended bill, then I'll criticize him. But not for doing the job he swore an oath of office to do.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Dude, how is giving a right to these interests but not those considered "liberty"? I'm glad that he denied a new special privilege and revenue source to a legally protected monopoly. I don't even see a strong connection of this to the social conservative paternalists. Fuck off.

  • John Calhoun||

    You do remember that the rule of law is a pretty key component of libertarianism right?

  • ||

    Why would the newly eleceted libertarian president think such a bill is constitutionally dubious?

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