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College Professor: Online Gambling Could Aid Ailing Atlantic City

A professor at Montclair State University wrote an op ed piece on NorthJersey.com advocating online gambling as a potential aid to ailing Atlantic City land casinos.

Brigid Callahan Harrison, who is a professor of political science and law at Montclair State University wrote the piece singing the praises of internet gambling. Recently State Senators Ray Lesniak and Jim Whelan's online gambling bill made it through the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

Harrison noted that in 2005, Atlantic City casinos paid more than $500 million to the state's Casino Revenue Fund, but last year the casinos only paid $257 million. This year casinos are estimated to pay only $248 million, less than half of the money brought in from 2005.

"This (legalisation) bill could help those numbers recover. The bill is designed to position New Jersey as the premier American venue for legal Internet bets. And if the strategy works, it could prove a game-changer for the casinos and for the state, which could become the flagship virtual home of a burgeoning multi-billion dollar industry."

"Internet gambling proceeds would be taxed at 10% and makes the wagers placed online using Atlantic City's sites legal, unless the state Division of Gaming Enforcement determines a wager violates federal laws."

She goes on to point out that the Garden State's corporate gaming infrastructure would make a transition to online gambling easy.

"Quick passage of this legislation would give New Jersey the edge over California and Nevada, which are considering similar legislation. And that edge could mean the difference between all of New Jersey's taxpayers having a growth industry subsidizing state expenditure versus being a Johnny-come-lately to an industry that some other state got a toehold in." Harrison concluded.

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