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Lesniak Testimony To Assembly Committees On Internet Gambling And Sports Wagering Bills

Measures Would Create Jobs and Revitalize Ailing Gaming Industry

TRENTON – Senator Raymond J. Lesniak, the sponsor of bills establishing intrastate Internet gambling and authorizing sports wagering in the Garden State as soon as the federal government’s ban is lifted issued the following testimony today urging the Assembly Regulatory Oversight and Gaming Committee to approve his bills:

On S-490, which was unanimously approved by the Committee and would establish intrastate Internet Gambling in New Jersey –

“S-490 / A-2570, with the amendments proposed today, would allow New Jersey’s casinos to offer Internet gaming exclusively to New Jersey residents.

“Econsult, a nationally-recognized corporation specializing in economic analysis of government programs, estimates the gross revenues from S-490 to New Jersey’s casinos to be $210-250 million and its direct job creation to be 547 well-paying jobs ranging from Executives with a salary from $225,000-$300,000; information technology jobs with a salary from $90,000-$150,000; Sales, Marketing, Finance and other typical management positions would earn salaries from $38,000-$188,000 with most being at the middle or higher range of that income. What we’re looking at, by enacting S-490 / A-2570, is directly creating over 500 very good paying jobs at our casinos in Atlantic City.

“The indirect job creation of S-490 / A-2570, using standard industry multipliers, will produce an additional 1039 jobs from various service, commercial and manufacturing industries. Econsult’s revenue and job creation reports are attached to my statement.

“In addition to job creation, S-490 / A-2570 will generate $16.8-20 million for the Casino Revenue Fund for seniors and the disabled and $31.5-37.5 million to CRDA for allocation to the New Jersey Racing Commission for the benefit of the horse racing industry for five years or for one year after implementation of sports betting in New Jersey.

“S-490 / A-2570 also raises $100,000 a year from Internet gaming license fees for compulsive gambling programs.

“I urge your support for S490/A2570.”

And on SCR-132, which was approved by a vote of 4-1, and would authorize sports wagering in the Garden State –

“ACR-167 / SCR-132 would amend the New Jersey Constitution, if approved by the voters next November, to allow sports betting at our casinos and racetracks and former racetracks. Betting on New Jersey amateur teams or on any amateur sporting event in New Jersey would not be allowed.

“I have filed a lawsuit in federal district court to overturn the federal ban on sports betting (PAPSA). Constitutional Law authorities at George Washington, Vanderbilt, Willamette and Whittier Law Schools agree that the federal ban violates the 5th, 10th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution and its Commerce Clause. Even the Justice Department had doubts on the legality of the sports betting ban and expressed its concern in a letter to then-Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Joe Biden in 1992 when PAPSA was enacted into law.

“Club CalNeva, a Las Vegas-based company which operates over 30 sports books and handles billions of dollars in bets estimates that sports betting will bring in $1.3 billion in gross wagering revenues and $120 million in tax revenues for New Jersey. That’s $1.3 billion of gross profits for our casinos and racetracks, creating and preserving thousands of jobs and attracting tourists to Atlantic City and the Jersey Shore in Monmouth and Ocean County.

“That’s a lot of jobs, a lot of profits for New Jersey businesses, and a lot of revenue for the state.

“I urge you to support ACR-167.”

Both bills now head to the full Assembly for consideration.

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