The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released internet gambling regulations Friday. These regulations consist of both poker and casino games. These games may be offered over the internet or through a mobile device. Mobile devices may only be used while physically located within a resort property. The device will be provided by the casino and disabled once a player leaves the casino floor, hotel or its amenities.
The regulations and licenses will be active for seven years. The state will then revisit the regulations and licensing again after that time.
Players must create an account through an Atlantic City casino, either over the internet or in person. A player must provide their personal information including a Social Security Number. An eight or more digit password will also be required with a combination of numbers, letters and symbols.
Players must agree to a number of conditions to play. These include:
• Consenting to age and ID check
• Agreeing not to login outside of New Jersey
• Understanding that allowing another person to play on their account is a criminal offense
• Understanding that allowing anyone under 21 years of age to access their account is a criminal offense
• Acknowledge that problem gambling solutions are available
• How to file a dispute with regulators
Operators are required to disclose to players:
• Privacy policies set by the casino
• Names of all licensed companies the player will enter a contract with
• Rake, vig and charges to play online games
• How to obtain game logs
• Treatment of accounts that have been inactive for more than one year
• Cash deposit at Atlantic City casino cage
• Wires to casino account
• Credit or debit card
• Reloadable prepaid cards
Withdrawals from credit card deposits are refunded up to that amount
Other methods are:
• Cash at cage
• Reloadable debit cards if used to fund acct
• Bank wire
Player-to-player transfers are not allowed. This list is not all-inclusive. More options may be added later upon approval by the DGE.
Problem Gambling Protections
Players may set loss limits, daily time limits and self exclusions. All self exclusions must be for at least 24 hours. Any player that sets a limit of 72 hours or more may not receive marketing material from the operator during that time. Operators must set new or lower loss limits immediately. If a player chooses to raise their deposit or loss limits then this may not go into effect for 24 hours.
When a player reaches $2,500 in lifetime deposits the system will block the player until they acknowledge this information. The player will also be provided with information about how they can set deposit limits, loss limits, time limits and self exclusion features. The player will also be presented with information on how to call a problem gambling hotline. In addition to agreeing that they understand this information when the $2,500 threshold is reached, a player will have to agree to this annually.
A player that wishes to reset their password or change personal information must confirm their identity. This may be done either in person by showing ID or answering at least two test questions that are provided at signup. An account that has three unsuccessful login attempts will be locked. The player must also show ID or answer two or more test questions to regain access to their account.
Operators must investigate all player complaints within five days. The complainant and the DGE must be notified of the outcome.
Accounts that are suspended or suspected of fraud where the account is closed must have that status disclosed to other licensees within 24 hours. If circumstances require, accts will be closed at all NJ gaming sites and the ability for players to open accounts at all licensees will be restricted unless the issue is later resolved.
Operators must hold all funds in a separate account than an account used for operations. The segregated account must be equal to or greater than the cumulative amount of all player deposits. Transfers may be made daily and monthly reports must be submitted to the DGE.
The manager of the online and mobile operations must notify the DGE if cheating, theft, embezzlement, collusion, money laundering, or if an excluded person tries to play. All individuals excluded from Atlantic City casinos are automatically excluded from online activity in the state.
New Jersey Online Casino Operations
All casino games approved in Atlantic City may be offered over the internet. In addition to electronic versions of table games, live versions are also allowed. This is referred to as table game simulcasting in the regulations. These games must take place at an actual table within the casino with that table number disclosed to player as well as all rules, payouts and actions.
All casino games must be displayed in a similar way to their live counterparts. The odds must also be the same. All outcomes must be determined server side. This means that the player’s computer will receive the information as to whether a wager won or lost. The actual action will take place on the operator’s server in Atlantic City.
Free play versions of all games will be allowed. Players will be required to create an account to play these games and be logged in at the time. Free play games must completely mimic a real money version of the same game.
There are several solutions to players that disconnect in the middle of a hand. If the player is in a one player game then the game will pause and be replayed when the connection is reestablished. Multi player games will have a different solution, depending on the situation. A poker player will most likely see their hand folded unless the disconnection was due to a failure of the operator’s server, where the game will be paused until participants can login again or the hand voided. Players in multi player casino games will either see their actions halted, for example a blackjack hand must stay, or the hand will be voided if there is a catastrophic server failure. This policy must be disclosed on the operator’s website.
Unlicensed New Jersey operators face fines. The fine for accepting players equals $1,000 each day for every player’s action accepted. There is also a $10,000 per day fine for advertising unlicensed online gambling in the state. An advertising campaign will be funded by the state to educate residents on licensed operators.
Interstate compacts are described as reciprocal agreements in the regulations. Any state that passes online gambling regulations that comply with federal law would be permitted to share player pools with New Jersey assuming the two states agree on the terms.
Licensing and Taxes
Governor Christie insisted that the tax rate on internet wagers be 15%, as opposed to the 10% proposed in the first bill presented to him that was conditionally vetoed. In addition to this tax rate, a first year license fee has been proposed to be $400,000 with annual renewals requiring a $250,000 fee.
These items are a draft and may be edited for a June 3, 2013 release where there will then be a public comment period. The full draft may be found here.