South Jersey Lawmaker Pushes for Mobile Gambling at New Jersey Casinos

The Senate has passed a bill to allow gamblers to use mobile devices while at casinos. Sen. Jim Whelan (D-2) told NJ Today Managing Editor Mike Schneider that he believes allowing mobile gambling in Atlantic City will be a benefit.

Whelan explained use of mobile gambling would be limited to the casino premises. The devices wouldn’t work in the casino garage, but would work in areas like rooftop tennis courts and pool areas. He said the younger generations are used to having handheld devices that are able to complete many tasks.

“This is a way to try and adapt to the reality of what’s taking place in the world,” Whelan said. “This is being done in Las Vegas and we think it makes sense to have the opportunity for New Jersey casinos to do this as well.”

He said he doesn’t believe allowing mobile gambling will take away from the casino floors since much of the fun and excitement is the experience on the floor. “But … if you’re sitting poolside and you feel like lounging at the pool on the pool deck, you don’t have to go inside and play a couple hands of blackjack,” Whelan said. “You can do it right from your seat there or in your room somewhere on the premises.”

On the subject of the state budget, Whelan said elected officials have to be willing to compromise. “I think we have to get to the point where compromise is not a dirty word in politics any more. The reality is that that’s generally how we get things done,” he said. “There are people on the extremes of both parties who don’t want to compromise at all and we see it in Washington fortunately more so than here in Trenton, but the need for compromise on the budget is absolutely essential if we’re going to get a budget done by June 30.”

Whelan said he doesn’t mind instituting a so-called millionaires tax. “I think there’s this myth frankly that’s been created by those on the far right that if we overtax the job creators it’s terrible and job loss and so on and so forth,” he said. “And the record just doesn’t bear that out, nationally and in the state of New Jersey.”

With some analysts doubting the state’s revenue projections will come to fruition, Whelan said he believes New Jersey can’t afford a tax cut right now. “Unless it’s coupled with a millionaires tax or some other revenue source, I think there are a lot of us saying, ‘Hey, does this make sense? can we afford it?'”