Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporations, is continuing his campaign to ban online gambling. Adelson has backed a new federal bill called the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA), which would ban online gambling throughout the country. There is still little support for the proposed bill, but New Jersey lawmakers are still concerned that it may be passed. They recently passed a resolution to protest the federal bill.
State Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo is the sponsor of the resolution. Mazzeo pointed out that state casinos have generated over $80 million from online gambling. The taxes on online gambling revenue are expected to help close the state deficit in 2015.
Mazzeo said that the online gambling industry still has not reached its full potential. Analysts are confident that the market will grow exponentially in the coming years, which could save the faltering casino industry and generate essential revenue for the state economy. Mazzeo said that the federal law would have a substantial negative impact on Atlantic City and the state as a whole.
The Assembly Tourism and Gaming Committee has passed the resolution. It has been referred to the rest of the full Assembly, which is expected to hold a vote in the next few weeks. Mazzeo and other New Jersey lawmakers hope that their colleagues in the federal government will take their concerns into consideration. Many think tanks and the National Conference of State Legislators have also voiced opposition to the law.
Adelson has refuted many of the arguments that New Jersey lawmakers and other online gaming advocates have raised. He is pessimistic that safeguards on online gambling sites will deter minors and other vulnerable citizens from accessing them.