📱 A Democratic lawmaker is seeing green from the surge of online gaming

📱 Senator John McKeon wants to double the current tax for online gambling

📱 A package of bills also bans casinos from enticing minors to gamble

As online gambling continues to set industry records in New Jersey, a state senator wants to grab more of the money being generated by gambling apps.

Sen. John McKeon, D-Morris, is sponsoring legislation (S-3064) to double the tax rate for online casino gaming and internet sports wagering to 30%.

"Revenue from online gaming is exploding," McKeon said in a statement. "New Jersey is currently taxing this money at a much lower rate than nearby states.”

Pennsylvania taxes online gambling revenue at 31%. In New York, the tax rate is 51%

McKeon wants to dedicate a portion of the revenue generated from the increased tax to "dedicated to prevention, education, and treatment programs for compulsive gamblers."

If approved, the increased tax rate could generate well over $60 million per year.


Ban on luring kids to gamble

Many online gaming companies promote or sponsor apps that simulate gambling but with simulated wagering.

McKeon is also sponsoring legislation (S-3062) to prohibit casinos from using non-wagering casino games to encourage future gambling.

Sen. John McKeon (D)

McKeon warns this can get children hooked at a young age and encourage them to make real bets when they reach the legal age to do so.

"The National Council on Problem Gambling reports that children and teens are at a higher risk for gambling addiction than adults," McKeon says. "We must protect our kids from these predatory practices and hold casinos accountable to prevent the next generation from falling victim to the devastating consequences of compulsive gambling."

Online Gambling Sites
Bruno Vincent, Getty Images

Problem gamblers

For years, New Jersey has had laws on the books that allow problem gamblers to ban themselves from casinos and internet gaming activities.

A third bill sponsored by McKeon (S-3063) would hold casinos civilly liable if they violate New Jersey's Casino Self-Exclusion Program.

It means a person could sue a casino for "reckless indifference" or "intentional misconduct" if they "knowingly enable a person’s gambling addiction."

Under current law, McKeon contends casinos are free from repercussions "even if they knowingly enable a person’s gambling addiction."

"This measure will help individuals who have actively sought assistance in their recovery from gambling disorder and hold our casinos to a higher ethical standard," McKeon said.

Bruno Vincent, Getty Images
Bruno Vincent, Getty Images

What you pay is unchanged

Whether the legislation passes or not, the tax rate on gambling winnings would remain the same, for now.

According to the New Jersey Division of taxation: New Jersey Income Tax is withheld at an amount equal to three percent (3%) of the payout for both New Jersey residents and nonresidents for gambling winnings (N.J.S.A. 54A:5.1(g)).

online gambling
Luis Davilla, Getty Images

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