New Jersey State Senator Raymond J. Lesniak is calling out Governor Chris Christie to take action and support online gambling options as well as to remove a federal ban on sports wagering options. Lesniak decided to take a stance after over a dozen individuals were arrested as part of an illegal online gambling operation.
Lesniak wants online gambling options to be legalized, such as online poker, as well as sports betting so legitimate businesses and the state will be able to benefit from the revenues generated. Lesniak is a current sponsor of bills that would allow both online gambling and sports wagering and he spoke out on the subject stating:
“Under the current laws, organized crime has a virtual monopoly on sports book, and they’re using offshore internet operators to bring their business into the 21st century. This case represents everything that’s wrong about our current policy regarding internet wagering and sports wagering. The Governor should support legislation to legitimize internet gaming, and support the legal challenge to the federal ban on sports betting, in order to give our casinos access to new revenue streams and drag currently illegal gaming practices into the light of government regulation.”
The case that Lesniak is referring to involves thirteen men who have connection to the Genovese family, a group that participates in organized crime. The men arrested are also considered to be connected to the LaScala Crew. All of the men have been charged with traditional organized crimes as part of the illegal gambling scheme.
Lesniak went on to state: “We should not be forfeiting these funds to organized crime and offshore betting operations. By providing a legal avenue for New Jersey residents to engage in sports wagering or Internet gaming, we would be able to take a funding source away from organized crime and channel it to economic output for our ailing gaming industry and funding for programs for seniors and people living with disabilities. I hope the Governor recognizes [Tuesday]’s bust as a wakeup call, and joins in our efforts to diversify gaming and take some of the power out of mafia-operated illegal gaming rings in the Garden State.”
Lesniak has stated that he believes if the governor would support the legislative efforts to legalize online gaming options, paired with the legal efforts to overturn the ban on sports wagering, the odds would be improved in their favor that it will actually happen. Lesniak has urged the governor to join the cause the help take a stand against illegal gaming operations as well as diversify legal gaming in the state of New Jersey.
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