Last week the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) quietly unveiled four new “temporary” online gaming regulations – the changes were first spotted by eagle-eyed iGaming journalist Chris Grove who noted them in his Weekly Wrap column at OnlinePokerReport.com.
While the new regulations are for the most part minor procedural changes (most players would be unlikely to notice any change whatsoever), all four of the new regulations seem to remove hurdles rather than create them, and should be good for the industry as a whole moving forward.
Here is a look at each new regulation and its potential impact.
New Regulation #1: Funding and access social game accounts
Players will have easier access and funding options for social games run on the same platform as real-money online casinos.
This change seems to directly tied to the recent courting of skill based social games by the New Jersey DGE, as it allows players to access and make payments for social game through their online gaming account.
Two things on this:
- Obviously the operator must offer both social and standard online casino games
- The operator must clearly label social games and note that social games are not regulated by the DGE in their Terms & Conditions
This is an intriguing change and seems to further indicate the game plan for New Jersey gaming moving forward will be comprehensive and cross platform.
New Regulation #2: Celebrities and sponsored players
The second new regulation gives operators more leeway in how they employ celebrity players and other employees. Under the new regulation:
“Internet gaming operators may employ celebrity or other players to participate in peer to peer games for advertising or publicity purposes. Such players may have their accounts funded in whole or in part by an Internet gaming operator. An Internet gaming operator may pay a fee to the celebrity player. If a celebrity player is employed and the celebrity player generates winnings which he or she is not permitted to retain, such winnings shall be included as Internet gaming gross revenue in a manner approved by the Division.”
Far from earth shattering, this new regulation does allow for some interesting promotional and marketing opportunities to be cooked up by gaming operators, and also allows for an easier agreement to be reached between celebrity and sponsored players and operators.
New Regulation #3: Server location
One of the more interesting additions was the approval of online gaming servers to be located off-property:
“In another facility owned or leased by the casino licensee that is secure, inaccessible to the public, and specifically designed to house that equipment, and where the equipment shall be under the complete control of the casino licensee or its Internet gaming affiliate, within the territorial limits of Atlantic City, New Jersey. For the purposes of this subsection, a secure facility within Atlantic City that is owned or leased by the casino licensee to house Internet gaming equipment shall be considered to be part of the casino hotel facility notwithstanding that the facility may not be contiguous with the premises of the casino hotel.”
This could lead to several different companies operating under a single operator’s license (which is currently allowed) without having the servers and other equipment located in the same building. While this could be accomplished under the old regulations it may not have been a scenario (servers and important information in the same building) competing platforms would be happy with.
New Regulation #4: Exclusivity for new games
The fourth and final regulatory update saw the repeal of a previous regulation requiring newly licensed games be offered to all casino licensees.
This repeal may have been spurred on by the lack of exclusivity amongst online casino sites in the games they offer; something gaming columnist John Mehaffey feels has hurt the iGaming industry in New Jersey.
The removal of this regulation may see a sudden surge in new games offered now that different iGaming partners no longer have to offer their games to their competitors.