If New Jersey Governor Chris Christie chooses not to sign the pending online gambling bill into law 45 days after it was passed by the congress — and that was back on January 10 — then it becomes a law without his signature. (That’s if he doesn’t veto it instead.)
That seems to be his plan, at this point: Not openly endorsing online gambling, but not rejecting it, either.
Because rejecting the online gambling law — and its goal to strengthen New Jersey’s home gambling industry — has never been more important for the Garden State.
In fact, gambling in Atlantic City fell a huge 13 percent in January, reports Bloomberg. And that’s just the latest bad news in four years of economic decline.
Jersey’s betting proceeds “shrank to $255.4 million,” writes Beth Jinks as Bloomberg. “Slot machine revenue at the 11 casinos slid 16 percent from a year earlier to $164.9 million, and table game winnings were down 8.3 percent to $90.5 million.”
Even worse, the state now faces renewed competition from other nearby states. Pennsylvania and New York have added slot machines to their states in recent years; in Pennsylvania, land-based casino revenues were up from $35.7 million per week last year to $43.2 million this year, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
So if New Jersey governor Christie wants to get in on the online gambling action before California or Nevada beats it to the punch, he really couldn’t ask for a more economically agreeable time.