New Jersey Poker Bill 2578

What makes New Jersey bill 2578 different from the many others we’ve covered is that it’s already been passed and made law. That’s right – New Jersey was the third state in history to pass an internet gaming bill stating that it was legal to gamble online. The bill passed after several amendments in February 2013, less than 1 week after Nevada passed theirs.

The key difference between New Jersey and Nevada, though, is that New Jersey legalized multiple forms of internet gaming whereas in Nevada players are limited to online poker.

What else is noteworthy about their bill is that they have no bad actors clause. Unlike the many other bills we’ve reviewed, New Jersey isn’t prohibiting operators that have offered/accepted bets post-UIGEA. So long as the operator has an existing casino, or has software that passes the state’s criteria and partners with an established B&M casino, they can operate online in the state legally.

That’s exactly what PokerStars plans to do. The online poker behemoth dominated the US market before being indicted on various charges including money laundering and fraud in April 2011. However, quickly following the fallout they paid their US players back, dues to the DOJ and purchased Full Tilt’s assets, while picking up the tab on the money owed to players. In doing so they were told they could one day operate in the states again.

Shortly after they made a deal with the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. That deal fell through, though, when PokerStars failed to meet an agreed upon deadline. So they made a deal instead with the Resorts Casino Hotel. Now it’s only a matter of time before we see PokerStars live and accepting real money players in New Jersey.

So between the internet bill passing, PokerStars reentering the US market and the handful of sites expected to go live in New Jersey towards the end of November, we thought we’d share some of the most influential statutes to operators and players found in the bill.

View Other State Bills

Cliff Notes of the Amended New Jersey Gambling Bill

Here are the statutes that will impact the state, operators and players the most.

  • Vendors that provide payment processing, money-transmitting, age verification, geo-location, telecommunication and other services not specific to online gaming, will not require a license.
  • Vendors that provide software, control the games/bets/wagers or provide customer lists, will require a casino service industry enterprise license.
  • All internet games need to display the minimum and maximum wagers. Operators cannot force players to bet less or more than the min/max. However, if a player makes a bet that’s not rejected by the casino (regardless of the amount), it’s treated as a valid bet.
  • Only software that has been tested and authorized by the gaming division can be used online.
  • Gross revenues will be taxed 15%. The funds will be placed in the Casino Revenue Fund.
  • Gaming will take place where the casino’s server(s) are located, regardless of where the player is, while playing online.
  • The gaming operation, which includes the facilities, equipment, personnel or anything directly involved with the gaming activity, will need to be on the location of the casino/hotel (in a specified area). The exception is equipment used for backups – that can be located outside the area.
  • Operators are within their rights to provide marketing information via the internet to players already engaged in online gambling (to visit the operator’s casino in Atlantic City).
  • Credits to an online gaming account can only be made by cash, check, money order, bank wire or e-check directly to the casino operator.
  • It is a crime to offer or allow others to offer online games that have had the odds or payout adjusted. Fines can be as much as $50,000 to $200,000.
  • Players have to be 21 or older to play online in New Jersey.  If operators allow underage players to play, they will be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, except if the player lied or in some other way managed to play online regardless. Operators that violate this law more than once will it’s online gaming permit revoked.
  • Online gaming fees will be on an annual basis. Issuance fees will be $400,000. Renewal fees will be based on the costs for maintaining enforcement, regulation, operations, etc, but the minimum will be $250,000.
  • Operators will need to pay a deposit of $100,000 with their application. This is non-refundable.
  • Operators will also have to pay $250,000 into the State General Fund annually. This money will be sent to the Legislature to the Department of Human Services, as well as the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, which will be used for compulsive gambling treatment programs in the state.

Sources

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2012/Bills/A3000/2578_R1a.HTM

About Pete Kaminski