The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has only a few days left to change the fate of online gambling in the state. As we have reported before, an online gambling bill is up for passage in New Jersey and will allow residents in the state the opportunity to enjoy online gambling options. Christie only has to sign the bill for it to become law. PPA Executive Director, John Pappas, met with a member of Christie’s office on Tuesday and now the PPA is feeling skeptical about the passage of the bill.
The meeting took place between Pappas, state director Tony Salerno, members of the PPA, Frank Sarah and Lisa Pickell, as well as a representative for Christie and lasted for around forty five minutes. The meeting saw the group present the representative with two documents about their concerns for the passage of the online poker bill. The group also spoke with the rep directly about concerns that have come up about the bill.
The PPA addressed the concerns, gambling addiction as well as the impact that online gaming will have on the major revenue source for the state, Atlantic City. The governor had stated these concerns in a recent radio program and Pappas as well as the others in on the meeting, wanted to speak about these issues.
In the end, the group felt as though the meeting went well, but they are now skeptical as to if the governor will sign the bill into law. Pappas stated: “He didn’t say how the governor was going to come down, although he did make some remarks that raised some skepticism and concern within our group that he may veto the bill.”
The rep for Christie also mentioned during the meeting that Christie’s office had received more calls from opponents than supporters of the online gambling legislation. The PPA has asked members of their group as well as residents of the state to suggest that Christie sign the bill.
Pappas stated: “I’m skeptical that more people are calling against the bill than for it, but if that’s what he’s saying than we need to redouble our efforts. We’re reaching out to all various folks in the poker industry to see if they have players or subscribers in the state of New Jersey. I think we need to get as many voices as we can reaching out to the governor.”
Pappas went on to state that it is only appropriate for residents of the state to contact the governor via phone call as in his experience, calls that show from outside the state will be ignored. The meeting showed that the concerns of the governor are not an issue. The group hopefully showed how online gambling can help the state as well as problem gamblers with proper regulation. Only time will tell, and Christie only has a few more days to make his final decision.