Professor I. Nelson Rose interview on US gambling, Pt 2

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In part two of the SBR interview with US gaming law expert Professor I. Nelson Rose, the US online gambling landscape is discussed, as well as states that may be sleepers to introduce various forms of online gambling down the line. Professor Rose also speaks at length about news out of New Jersey and Gov. Chris Christie's bold claims.

To start part two of the interview with Professor Rose, SBR Natalie opens with a question on generating money without raising taxes, and that gambling may be an effective way to do so. Natalie asks if, as a result, the push to legalize poker and other internet gaming may be more about raising cash rather than personal liberties.

Professor Rose explains the differences between federal and state regulations, adding: "Well you have to separate federal from state.. the states here are so powerful and independent, and again gambling has always been a state issue, not a federal issue. On the federal level, the deficit is in the trillions — 10, 12, whatever it is — thousands of billions. It frankly is not a big issue. Legal gambling is a breaking era, it’s so small, it would have literally no significant impact on the federal deficit ."

On the subject of state interests on internet gambling—such as Nevada's issuing of the first interactive gaming licenses in US history—Professor Rose states: "On the state level, however, the states are not allowed to have deficits. They have to balance their books. They can’t raise taxes anymore, and they can’t cut services anymore, and they’re not getting any help from the federal government — so their desperate to look for any way to raise money, and gambling raises money."

Outspoken New Jersey Governor Chris Christie recently made headlines for statements made that he intended to go forward with sports betting in Atlantic City, despite federal statutes ("The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act") prohibiting him from doing so. Professor Rose addresses the potential ramifications: "They could arrest him for racketeering, which is a really weird situation, where we’ve got a Governor openly saying he’s going to violate the federal criminal laws because of a different state statute that he thinks gives him the power to do that."

Under PASPA, sports betting is limited to four states: Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. Nevada has been the main beneficiary of the federal legislation, with numerous sportsbooks. New Jersey State Senator estimated that NJ has lost out on hundreds of millions in the last year, when Gov. Christie vetoed an internet gambling bill. SBR has twice interviewed Sen. Lesniak. During his first interview with SBR, Sen. Lesniak stated "We will become the silicon valley of online gaming."

New Jersey has introduced legislation attempting to overturn PASPA: Bill H.R. 3809, dubbed the “New Jersey Betting and Equal Treatment Act of 2012” seeks to amend PASPA to exclude New Jersey from the prohibition on sports betting. Professor Rose adds his insight on what may play out here: "...eventually a court will get involved and probably rule that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act is unconstitutional and then a dozen states the next year will be legalizing intrastate sportsbooks, maybe both internet and land-based."

No matter how you slice it, it is an exciting time for both sports bettors and poker players alike in the United States.

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