Gambling Champion Lesniak Could Run for Governor in New Jersey

Online Poker advocater Sen. Ray Lesniak plans to Run for position of Governor of New Jersey during 2017.

Chris Christie the current incumbent’s time as Governor of New Jersey Governor is shortly coming to an end, which opens the space for Ray Lesniak to apply to run for position of Governor. Mr Lesniak as a proponent of online legal gambling if he should attain office, will be a positive influence for the industry.

Although Mr. Lesniak says he would not be seeking a further term in the Legislature but that although he has not officially made the announcement his office has sent an email that he will be looking towards running for governor.

Mr Lesniak said that his official position is, if sufficient people show belief and support for him, then he is the best person to lead the state out of existing problems, therefore he would definitely be running for governor.

In his 37 years as leader of the Democrat in the legislature of in New Jersey, Mr. Lesniak has shown consistency in his push for laws as well as money making opportunities that he is sure would help the state even after his initial attempts at getting bills passed were stonewalled.

Mr. Lesniak was the first to introduce legislation and continued to reintroduce until it brought legal and regulated Internet gambling to New Jersey in January of 2010. He finally got the bill passed a year after he first introduced it, but it did not stay as it was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. He then reintroduced the bill during 2012 with the changes that would address the concerns that Mr Christie brought up. Mr. Christie again vetoed the bill bringing up additional changes he wanted, Mr Lesniak did not give up, he brought the bill to his desk, refined it some more and finally in less than 3 weeks he had a final signature.

Mr. Lesniak said that if he got to be governor of New Jersey, they would have a fighter with him at the helm.

Mr. Christie has announced that he is running for candidacy for president in 2016, is currently serving his second and the final term as governor. Mr. Lesniak has been one of the harshest critics of Gov. Christie in all matters, he has often made inciteful and some very quotable digs at Mr. Christie.

Mr Lesnaik stated that Gov. Christie has been one of the friendliest governors with regards to online gambling and the expansion of the industry and that it took him a while to get there, in fact Mr. Lesnaik said he ‘dragged him there’.

One of the aspects that Mr Lesnaik will be fighting if he is appointed Governor, he said he would be fighting Mr Adelson’s efforts at shutting down Internet gambling on the federal level and ensure that he does not undo all the work he has started for expansion to making New Jersey the ‘Silicone Valley of the Internet”.

He also wants to be proactive and aggressive in courting other states to join New Jersey in the creation of poker liquidity, also to allow people from other countries, where gambling is legal, to be able to play at the Atlantic City sites. Mr. Lesnaik introduced legislation for the integration of international jurisdiction over the previous year but no movement has been seen since then.

One aspect Mr. Lesnaik would be championing is to expand online gambling internationality and he will also fight any efforts that are brought forward to curtail such efforts. He continued that one of the reasons for running for the governor office is that this state requires more effective leadership in almost all areas, and that bringing in additional revenues was a large part of this. He has always made his position clear that money was going out of the state on illegal offshore gambling that should be going to the state and he wants to bring that back. Mr. Lesniak has also been a leader the battle of bringing sports betting to the state of New Jersey. There is currently a ruling from the US, which is in the third Circuit Court of Appals, that is challenging the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, that has basically given Nevada the monopoly on regulated and legal sports betting in US.

He hopes that within two years this fight would have been won, but that if they lose in the Third Circuit then they would need a governor that has strong belief to take this fight to Washington. He would take the fight nationally and if they have to go to Congress to changing the law, then it would give him more firepower and support to do so as a governor.