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Sen. Lesniak: Sports Betting Would Breathe Life Back Into Atlantic City

8-11-14

Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the Sports Betting Bill and Sen. Ray Lesniak told NJTV News Anchor Mary Alice Williams that sports betting would breathe life back into Atlantic City.

Lesniak said that he was surprised by Christie’s veto. He said that Christie had supported his efforts since the get go and when it was put on the ballot, about 67 percent of voters supported it. He said to throw in the towel now when it would really throw a lifeline to the racetracks and casinos, instead Christie stuck a dagger in their hearts.

He said that he cannot figure out why Christie vetoed the Sports Betting Bill and that it makes no sense. He said that Monmouth Racetrack is ready to go and if there were to be any legal challenge the racetrack would be the defendant not the state. With that being said, he said why not give it a chance.

When asked why sports betting matters, Lesniak said, “It matters because it would bring hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue into the state of New Jersey and save us thousands of jobs. Betting is going on right now. It’s going on in Las Vegas and it’s going on in organized crime sports betting rings. So the only favor that Christie did is to the state of Nevada and to organized crime sports betting rings.”

Lesniak said that it is fair to say that is fair to say that the casino business in New Jersey is tanking. He said that Revel is going to close. He said that sports betting will breathe life back into Revel. He said that Revel was designed for sports betting and not for casinos. He said that the Revel is more of a resort area. He said that people go for sports betting to take part in the events, such as Super Bowl week. He said that during any big sporting week you cannot get a room in Las Vegas, while Atlantic City is a ghost town. He said sports betting would breathe life back into Atlantic City and into Revel.

Lesniak said that Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is important because of climate change and to stop air pollution. He said that Christie is turning his back on science. He said that science knows that carbon emissions are causing the terrible climate change, the storms that have been happening, and it is a health hazard. He said that for Christie to pull out, he is just playing to his presidential aspirations.

Lesniak said that air pollution knows no boundaries and it is a compact of 10 states that have to work together because air pollution does not stop at the border. He said what Christie has done is minimal compared to what the RGGI compact can do.

There is hope that New Jersey will get back into RGGI at some point, said Lesniak. He said the Department of Environmental Protection is proposing regulations that he has testified against. He said that he is confident that the Legislature will not let those regulations to go forward and the state will be back in RGGI. He said New Jersey needs RGGI because the health of the citizens and of the planet require it.

Lesniak said that he believes that the voters are for doing something to turn back the tide of climate change and to protect the air that we breathe. He said that Christie is in tune with Republican primary voters that he is seeking in his presidential aspirations but it is at the sacrifice of the health of the citizens of New Jersey.