Lesniak: 'We Just Cannot Let That Happen'

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The chips may be stacked against some New Jersey lawmakers who have been fighting to bring internet gambling in the state.

The challenge is not coming from other legislators in Trenton, but from a bill sponsored by two powerful U.S. senators in Washington.

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WCBS 880’s Levon Putney reports

Sen. Harry Reid, the majority leader from Nevada, and Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona have introduced the bipartisan legislation that would ban all internet interstate or intrastate gaming except for lottery tickets and horseracing.

“I think it’s outrageous that these U.S. senators are trying to take away from the state of New Jersey and other states,” New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

“They want to keep it to themselves, most likely focused on Nevada, to the exclusion of our casinos in Atlantic City which need all the help they can get,” Lesniak said.

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Lesniak said the bill in Washington would deprive New Jersey casinos from cashing in on online gambling

“If New Jersey allowed it, our casinos would get an additional $200 million of revenues a year,” Lesniak told Putney. “The senators in Washington would take away that opportunity and take away hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues that our casinos need,” he added.

Lesniak said he has appealed to New Jersey’s Congressional and Senate delegations to help fight the bill in Washington.

“We just cannot let that happen,” Lesniak said.

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