Currently, online gambling has been signed into New Jersey State law and will be effective in about 3-9 months after the state Division of Gaming Enforcement sets a start date. This bill will allow all games played at Atlantic City to be available in an online format to accessed in New Jersey, other states, and even foreign countries. This law isn’t the right way to express State Sovereignty. It’s not even a nullification bill at all.

In fact, the law goes through great lengths to prove that New Jersey has found enough loopholes into being compliant with federal law.

In October 2006, the United States Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, 31 U.S.C. 5361 et seq., which generally prohibits the use of banking instruments, including credit cards, checks, and fund transfers, for interstate Internet gambling, essentially prohibiting online gambling by United States citizens, but which includes exceptions that permit individual states to create a regulatory framework to enable intrastate Internet gambling, provided that the bets or wagers are made exclusively within a single state under certain circumstances;

This law states right off the bat, the supremacy of this law belongs to the feds.

“Internet gaming in this State shall be subject to the provisions of, and preempted and superseded by, any applicable federal law. Internet gaming in this State shall be deemed to take place where a casino’s server is located in Atlantic City regardless of the player’s physical location within this State.”

Just like the Powerball lotto in many states, this law follows the federal regulations to a tee.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of pending before the Legislature as this bill, wagers may be accepted thereunder from persons who are not physically present in this State if the Division of Gaming Enforcement in the Department of Law and Public Safety determines that such wagering is not inconsistent with federal law or the law of the jurisdiction, including any foreign nation, in which any such person is located, or such wagering is conducted pursuant to an interstate compact to which this State is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.”

This law includes taking bribes from the feds to distribute public service announcements on the dangers of gambling.

“The Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, in consultation with the Casino Control Commission, shall establish an Internet gambling public awareness campaign in order to promote awareness among the general public of issues relating to Internet gambling… The director may accept, for the purposes of the public awareness campaign, any special grant of funds, services, or property from the federal government or any of its agencies, or from any foundation, organization or other entity.”

And New Jersey’s tries to once again appease the all great and powerful feds.

“As part of their respective investigatory, licensing and oversight powers, the Division of Gaming Enforcement and Casino Control Commission shall review each Internet gaming affiliate applicant’s past history and its asset utilization in the context of past and current Federal and State law and, following such review, may impose limitations and conditions upon the granting of the license or the utilization of its assets, or both, with respect to New Jersey operations.”

And if that is not bed enough, the feds are helping provide the network so people can gamble. Never give the off switch to the creature of your creation.

“Internet gaming” means the placing of wagers with a casino licensee at a casino located in Atlantic City using a computer network of both federal and non-federal interoperable packet switched data networks through which the casino licensee may offer authorized games to individuals who have established a wagering account with the casino licensee and who are physically present in this State

But this law has some limitations, it can only provide games which are played at Atlantic City. It does not allow sport’s betting. New Jersey asked for permission from the feds and was denied. Currently only 4 states are permitted by the federal government to partake in sports gambling. In the Press of Atlantic City it was quoted,

“The poll also found that most respondents say individual states are better equipped than the federal government to decide if they should be allowed to offer legal sports betting. New Jersey recently lost a federal court battle to overturn a federal law restricting sports betting to four states that met a 1991 deadline to approve it: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana.

New Jersey officials are appealing that ruling, and Christie says he’s willing to take it to the U.S. Supreme Court if need be.

“Right now, only a handful of states are permitted to allow legalized sports betting, and New Jersey is not one of them,” Jenkins said. “New Jersey voters clearly see this as an example of federal overreach into state sovereignty. In a rare moment of agreement, voters of both parties agree the federal government should stay out of the matter and let New Jersey have its spoils.”

New Jersey created a law that cozied right up to the feds. But, the power hungry federal government never reciprocates the love for fear of looking weak to other states. And now, citizens of New Jersey are wondering why is sports betting unlawful? The answer is simple, you are asking permission where no permission is needed.

New Jersey should start taking lessons from Washington and Colorado state who legalized marijuana in face of federal law saying it is illegal. The feds state: “The DOJ guidance explicitly states that marijuana remains illegal under Federal law.” And yet, after the legalization, the Attorney General still can’t come up with a response on how to tackle it. In states like California where medical marijuana is legal, the feds stated, “Regardless of state laws to the contrary, there is no such thing as “medical” marijuana under Federal law.” And yet, even in the face of federal raids, the state of California refuses to aid the DEA, the dispensaries open back up after a raid ready for business, and the feds make little to no impact.

Governor Chris Christie will indeed have a long fight asking for permission. And, he probably will go to the Supreme Court waiting on someone’s opinion How does the Kenny Rogers song go? “You got to know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away.” The Supreme Court has sided more often with the federal government. Asking permission will not bring sports betting to New Jersey. When the Federal Government reigns supreme, the house will always win!

Kelli Sladick

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