Thursday November 14 ,2013 : NEW JERSEY REGULATOR CLARIFIES ONLINE GAMBLING RULES (Update)
Bonuses a particular focus in latest advisory note.
In response to enquiries from operators gearing up for the opening of the New Jersey online gambling market, David Rebuck, the director of the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement, issued an advisory guideline Wednesday, which can be viewed in its entirety here:
The subject of casino bonuses and No deposit bonuses frequently an area of tension between operators and players, received most attention, with the regulator providing examples illustrating the state's rules.
* Operators can offer bonuses with a cash-out restriction, commonly in the form of a wagerthrough requirement. However, players must always be allowed to withdraw an amount equal to their original deposit where their accounts have a credit balance.
* Once a player's account balance reaches zero, any bonus promo ends; in other words, operators may not carry forward the wager requirements to the next deposit by the player.
* The operator may require that a customer's first bets come from his or her deposit before the casino's matching funds are wagered.
* Players can abandon a promotional offer partway through, and cash out any initial deposit that remains in the player account.
* Full operator disclosure on the terms and conditions of any promo or bonus must be made, including details of wagering and cash-out restrictions.
* Operators may not impose a cap on winnings resulting from a bonus.
* In the case of the New Jersey market opening, there will initially be a 30-day moratorium on wager based promotions, counted from the first day on which online gambling is available generally to punters within New Jersey's borders.
* Operators who intend to offer such promotions must be able to domonstrate to the regulator that it has the administrative capability to to generate accurate revenue reports.
* None of these online gambling restrictions will apply where the operator has associated the promo with its land gambling promotional offerings.
In related news, a spokesperson for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement told media representatives Wednesday that online gambling in the state during the initial five day trial or "soft launch" period would be subject to time restrictions.
She said that real-money internet gambling will be limited to eight hours per day on the first two days of the trial period, which precedes the market’s official launch on November 26. On those days, real money betting will only be permitted between the hours of 6pm and 2am on November 21 and 22, with the window widening on November 23 to between 8am and midnight, finally extending around the clock on November 24 and 25.
The spokesperson also noted that if necessary the regulator can extend the trial period beyond November 25 if serious issues involving the systems being deployed surfaced.
The CEO of Ultimate Gaming, Tobin Prior, gave an indication of how much the regulator has limited the action during the five-day trial period by revealing that his company had been allowed just 500 ‘invitation only' concurrent players on its UCasino.com New Jersey website.
Ultimate is partnering with the Atlantic City land operation Trump Taj Mahal casino in its New Jersey online gambling enterprise.