Soon Atlantic City gamblers will be able to play social media games such as Words With Friends and Candy Crush for real money. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced on Tuesday that they are now accepting applications for skill-based gaming as part of their New Jersey First Program.
Legal Social-Style Casino Games May Be in AC’s Future
According to the press release, the DGE has had numerous discussions with AC casinos and equipment vendors to discover if there is a way to bring social gaming to the casino floor.
The thought process behind this endeavor is that social gaming will attract a larger segment of the total population, many of whom already play these games free on Facebook and other sites.
State Willing to Expedite Process Through New Jersey First Program
One way that the state is trying to attract applicants for this program is through their New Jersey First program. Under the program, “gaming products, which are submitted to New Jersey prior to or simultaneously with any other jurisdiction or testing lab, to be tested and, if approved, put on the casino floor within 14 days.”
DGE Director David Rebuck assured that those willing to apply for a license to offer skill-based gaming would be processed quickly, stating, “Given the success of our New Jersey First program over the past 3 years, we have the fastest time to market for electronic gaming equipment anywhere in the country. The Division is authorized to implement this approach and move forward with products. Bring your innovative skill-based games to New Jersey and we will work with you to get them approved quickly.”
Skill-Based Gaming Could be Next Evolution in Casino Gaming
If and when this program moves forward, the DGE will need to come up with a new gaming category for these skill-based games. The potential of these games should be evident to anyone following social gaming trends.
Skill-based gaming would allow users that are experienced with popular social-media games to then convert into real-money gamblers. This in turn has a ripple effect through the entire casino. It is unclear at this time whether these games will be considered for online consumption in the future.
With a third of AC casinos currently shuttered and declining revenues crippling the city, the DGE will have to come up with innovative ways to attract gamblers. While skill-based gaming will not be enough to save Atlantic City, it is a step in the right direction.