Just yesterday, we reported that the Poker Player’s Alliance was working hard to rally poker players and supporters in a movement to urge New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to sign a piece of legislation into law which would allow for online gambling in the state. The Governor has until February 7th to sign the bill into law, but has stated reservations, after previously being on board. It has now been reported that Executive Director of the PPA, John Pappas, has met with a senior member of Christie’s administration to discuss the online gambling bill.
According to NorthJersey.com, Pappas met with a senior member of Christies staff for forty five minutes in Trenton on Tuesday afternoon. Pappas was able to speak about the online gambling bill and had this to say on the meeting: “I definitely think the meeting went very well, because we were given a great deal of latitude to expand on our two key points. We talked about the economic benefits of legislation, and the consumer protections that can help problem gamblers. It’s clear that the Governor is still deliberating on this matter, and a decision hasn’t been made.”
The identity of Christie’s staff member is being kept under wraps but hopefully the talk will be the push the governor needs to make a decision and sign the bill. During December 2012, legislature was able to pass an online gambling bill that would allow for residents of the state to wager on casino games that are officially authorized by the state. For this to come to pass, Christie must sign the bill into law. It seemed as though Christie was on board but just last week, the governor conducted a radio interview and stated that he was worried about a new generation of problem gamblers.
However, Pappas addressed this concern yesterday afternoon by stating that controls for online gambling options are better controlled than brick-and-mortar casinos. Pappas made the point that a gambler can walk into any casino in Atlantic City and lose a huge amount of cash and the casino is none the wiser. With online gambling Pappas stated:
“But online, a record is kept of every single time you log in, of each transaction, and you can shut off players who have exceeded a certain amount of losses. We also talked about the United Kingdom, where national gambling prevalence studies have not shown a significant increase in problem gambling in that country from offering online gaming. The problem gamblers are already out there in New Jersey, but right now they are playing in anonymity.”
Pappas went on to state that he does not feel the governor will make a decision by the end of this week. We will stay on top of this story and keep you informed as information is released.