Chris Christie Says Just a Few More Changes Needed to Legalize Online Gambling in New Jersey

the big kahunaNJ Governor's Office/Tim LarsenNew Jersey could imminently become the first state in the union to legalize online gambling. The state senate first passed a bill legalizing online gambling in 2010 but faced hurdles put up by Governor Chris Christie, who vetoed the most recent version of the bill earlier this month.  The legislature is now working on a revised version and the governor promises this time he could sign it the same day (“depending on how my day is going”) if it contained the additions he sought. Ante Up Magazine explains Christie’s demands:

His conditions within the 31-page veto included a change to the tax rate listed in the bill from 10 percent to 15 percent, with a portion of this revenue to go to entities that work to help treat people with compulsive gambling problems and addictions. This was one of his issues with the bill he vetoed last year.

There’s also a part of the bill listed as Section 33, which addresses the issue of interstate commerce through the gaming act... This could open the door for offshore online gaming, depending, of course, on the future rulings by the DOJ and government.

Another notable point in the veto is the requirement that this online gaming law be set to expire in 10 years, unless it’s overridden by another law (state or federal).

While a poll last May showed 58 percent of voters in New Jersey opposed to online gambling in the state, Christie is enjoying a record high 74 percent approval rating, which ought to help in making legalized online gambling palatable in New Jersey.

Check out Reason TV’s “The Politics of Poker: Why It’s Time to Legalize Online Gaming”:


Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Another notable point in the veto is the requirement that this online gaming law be set to expire in 10 years...

    Generally I approve of sunset provisions, but not in cases where things are being made legal.

  • R C Dean||

    So every change he demanded was anti-liberty, no?

  • FucktheNannyState||

    So in other words, the right wing guys are the cool guys now? Fuck Yeah!

  • Gray Ghost||

    And knowing Christie, which gaming company board of directors did he used to sit on, and is going to get the first license for online gaming in NJ?

    I cynically lol'd, reading how he was such a great prison reformer and not mentioning that his company was going to get quite rich off the increased mandatory probation/counseling racket.

  • ||

    The first thing that crossed my mind after reading this was, we can solve the security issues that must exist to allow a profit making company to offer online gambling, but we cant seem to solve the same types of issues to allow secure online voting. Maybe I am missing something.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    There requirements to keep a secret ballot make it impossible to fully audit a voting system. The online gambling company is allowed to keep detailed records of who was in the system and everything they did, as are the banks, and any of the three parties (the player, the casino, and the bank) can verify that the two other parties did what they were supposed to have done.

  • ||

    I respect the hell out of people who can come up with and employ metaphors as teaching tools.

    This guy is awesome.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Very cool. It sounded like D'Souza was getting pretty good applause from the audience, of presumably college-aged kids. Hopefully him illustrating the immorality of government coercion will sink in to those kids. Or maybe they'll blame it on corporations.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I like how the chick that mentioned Obama's "metaphorical" gun was under the impression that she had some kind of gotcha in the works. He dusted her off like a piece of lint on a nice suit.

  • Jerryskids||

    The biggest thing is Christie wants a 15% vig rather than the customary 10%? So is New Jersey going to be running this operation? Is there any expense to the state of New Jersey whatsoever in allowing people to engage freely in commerce with other people?

    This is as close to simple extortion as it gets - NJ wants 15% to 'allow' something to happen that the sole reason it's not already happening is because NJ is not allowing it. Pay me a fair rate and I'll provide the service of not punching you in the face sounds like a rational business model, payment for services rendered.

  • buybuydandavis||

    We're taxed on everything. Is this news?

    15% is lower than usual.

  • Calidissident||

    It boggles my mind that gambling is illegal. Is it really that radical of a notion to think that individuals should be free to make their own decisions about personally risky behavior? The prohibitionists, whether it's "pro-choice" liberals or conservatives, who are supposed to be for economic freedom, are hypocrites on this issue.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Deep down in every American's DNA there is still a little Puritan sequence that informs our opinion about sex, booze, and gambling.


Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties