The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released the final draft of the state’s interactive gaming regulations today. This draft includes over 40 pages of comments from a total of 28 interested companies and individuals as well as responses from the DGE. The DGE release included any changes made from the previous draft to interactive gaming regulations. New Jersey online gambling will launch at 9am on November 26, 2013.
Free Play Games
The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ) made several comments related to problem gambling policies and funding. One point the council made was that operators should not promote free play games through other websites or social media. IGT and WMS also made comments about free play games. The DGE ruled that free play games would be allowed under certain conditions. The DGE stated it has no authority over other websites but that funds from real money gaming in New Jersey could not be used to fund social media games. Free games with an award may not be offered to players under 21 years of age. Casino style free play games must offer the exact odds as their real money counterparts.
Cool Down Periods
CCGNJ and Rational Group commented on the time-out period. This is when a player decides to opt out of play for a short period of time. The minimum time-out period will be 72 hours. CCGNJ suggested any time over 24 hours, while Rational Group suggested players should be able to decide the period of time needed away from the virtual tables.
Players will be able to set spend limits that will include a wager, buy-in and loss limit. Players will not be able to increase the limits until a previous setting expires. For example, if a player sets a loss limit for a week and ups the limits after two days, the player will still need to wait five more days for the new limits to take effect.
Anonymous Data for Research
CCGNJ requested access to anonymous data so that it could be used for problem gambling research. Data will now be kept for 10 years and the DGE will determine what it may be used for in terms of research.
Problem Gambling Terminology
A player must make the statement “I am a problem Internet Gambler” when opting out of interactive real money gaming in New Jersey. CCGNJ referred to this phrase as problematic. The DGE stated this was a requirement under the Casino Control Act.
Out of State Banking
Worldpay asked if transactions could be made with out of state banks. The DGE responded that there would be no issues with that. That is also the case in Nevada.
Martin Shapiro and Aristocrat commented about segregating player funds. The DGE stated that funds that equaled or exceeded player deposits must be held in a New Jersey bank separate from operating accounts. The funds in that account could be frozen should an operator experience financial difficulties. It would then be distributed by the DGE.
Martin Shapiro also expressed a concern about New Jersey’s dormant account policy. A player that does not play for one year loses his balance. Half of the balance goes to the operator and the other half goes to the casino control fund. The law requires the forfeiture of a dormant account. There is language that requires the notification of the player if the funds are in danger of being lost due to the dormant account policy. Language was added to prevent operators from depositing a bonus to restart the timer on a dormant account.
Withdrawals to Prepaid Cards
Mastercard suggested that player should be able to initiate a withdrawal to a prepaid card even if it was not the deposit method. The DGE refused to consider it citing the potential for abuse such as money laundering. The DGE does not allow prepaid cards for deposits unless it is connected to the player and nontransferable.
Player to Player Transfers
Rational Group suggested allowing player to player transfers. The DGE refused to consider this due to its concerns over money laundering and other fraud.
Pokertrip Enterprises suggested that marketing companies that get paid based on a commission model should be required to receive an ancillary casino service industry enterprise license. The DGE agreed and updated the language that applies to those licenses.
Access to Accounts Outside New Jersey
Ultimate Gaming requested clarification on whether players would be able to access non-wagering parts of their account outside New Jersey. The DGE will allow this. Ultimate Gaming allows players to deposit and withdraw from its Nevada regulated online poker room even if they are outside of the state.
The companies and individuals that commented and received a response from the DGE were:
- Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (CCGNJ)
- Martin Shapiro
- Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers
- Bally Tech
- Interactive Communications International
- Optimal Payments
- WMS Gaming
- Gaming Laboratories International
- Sightline Payments
- Caesars Interactive
- PokerStars/Full Tilt Poker
- New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies
- Chris Strycharz
- Black Gate
- R.L. Johnson
- Pokertrip Enterprises
- LaserLock Technologies
- Ultimate Gaming
The final draft may be viewed here.