People in New Jersey will no longer need to travel to the casino to gamble, as gaming regulators have now licensed six casinos to offer online gambling to the public within the state borders, according to the Associated Press.
After a five-day test period that started Nov. 21 to evaluate the online safeguards, the New Jersey game regulators determined the security of the online gambling sites of the six casinos was secure, and approved them for public use.
Some within or near New Jersey have applauded the move as a way to regulate online gambling and also to provide a new source of taxable revenue. It also may help turn the tide against offshore gambling sites. The editors of Bloomberg View cite a forecast by Bloomberg Industries showing that online gambling will be worth $23 billion by 2023.
Others, including Sheldon Adelson, the chief executive of the casino company Las Vegas Sands, have vigorously campaigned against legalized online gambling.
“After spending so many years playing addictive Internet games, kids and young adults today have been primed for the pump, and online gambling advocates know there’s a lot of money to be made from exploiting them,” Adelson wrote in an article for Forbes. “To make matters worse, young adults in America are also suffering under nearly a trillion dollars in student loans. To tempt them to solve their financial problems with a click of the mouse is unconscionable.”
Adelson isn’t alone. Some members of the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey believe that gambling at home on a computer is much different than in a casino, and could lead to gambling addictions.
For many years, online gambling was considered illegal under a common interpretation of the Wire Act of 1961. That law outlawed gambling rings and racketeering via telecommunications. In 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which explicitly tightened restrictions on online gambling.
In 2011, the Justice Department changed its interpretation of the Wire Act of 1961 to limit the ban on gambling via telecommunication to sports gambling.
Sam Clemence is an intern for Deseret News, where he works with the opinion section staff and as a reporter for the enterprise team.