Proponents of state regulated New Jersey online gambling will be quiet pleased with State Senator Raymond Lesniak’s announcement that he intends to run for governor in 2017. Having served in the legislature for 37 years, Lesniak now has now set his sights on the upcoming gubernatorial race. He has been an outspoken champion for online gambling in his state, and intends to expand the industry should he be elected governor. New Jersey is one of three states that has already embraced state licensed online gambling options for their residents, and his vision for this niche includes International expansion.
Some of the strides that iGaming supporters are hoping for in New Jersey include the state becoming a member of the Multi State Internet Gaming Association (MSIGA), and for NJ to provide iGaming licenses internationally. Joining the MSIGA would dramatically improve liquidity for online poker, and offering international licensing would see a huge jump in revenue for the state. He has openly declared his belief that millions of dollars are leaving the state to offshore gambling sites, and he wants to see that revenue redirected back to the state’s coffers.
Lesniak does not just have New Jersey in mind with his support of US online gambling. He has also stated that he wants to lead the charge in attracting other states to embrace legal online gambling, thereby creating an opportunity for interstate networking. Lesniak is a strong proponent of states’ rights. He intends to fight efforts to restrict states’ rights by disallowing them to license online gambling within their territories, and will quite possibly be able to have a historical impact on the expansion of online gambling at large.
Opponents to online gambling expansion cite two primary arguments when defending their position:
- Online gambling cannot protect minors;
- Online gambling cannot adequately verify a player’s location in order to ensure only those located within the state are accessing their online gambling options.
Both accounts are false. Geo-location technology has been largely successful in determining player locations and eligibility for becoming a customer, and identity verification requires players to prove who they are before an account is approved.
Will Lesniak be able to claim the governorship in NJ and lead the charge for online gambling expansion in the US? Well, he is a popular candidate, and we know that the voters in the Garden State are pro-gambling based on their gambling record. We can be fairly certain that he has a shot at the win. It is too early to guarantee anything, and the democrats have not yet brought forth a candidate for this seat.