Starting to seem that way.
Most people once considered regulated online gambling of some sort a lock in New Jersey. With Nevada pushing full steam ahead, the conventional wisdom was that Jersey, loathe to be left behind yet again to Vegas, would put their own plans to regulate on a fast-track.
That track appears to have slowed. Over the last few weeks, a barrage of negative news has emerged for those hoping to see an online gambling bill pass in the Garden State. First it became clear that Gov. Christie wasn’t quite on board as it originally seemed. Then public opinion polls suggested New Jersey citizens also had some reservations.
Now Christie seems to be putting even more distance between himself and gambling. From Philly.com:
Gov. Christie, the scheduled keynote speaker at this week’s East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City at the new Revel Casino, will not attend the gambling conference, a decision that some critics again tied to his presumed national political ambitions.
Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno will take his place, said Christie’s press secretary, Michael Drewniak.
“Nothing more than a scheduling conflict and change,” Drewniak said late Friday of Christie’s backing out as the luncheon speaker Thursday for the two-day gathering.
Despite (or in spite) of the apparent facts on the ground, the bill to regulate Internet gambling in NJ is still pushing through the legislative process. But with numerous false starts in the multi-year history of New Jersey’s efforts to get an online gambling bill passed, one has to wonder if we’re not in for another head-fake during the current legislative session.