NJ Considers Legalizing Real Money Social GamingOctober 20, 2014 12:54 pm
Between 2006 and 2013, New Jersey’s casino market halved in size to just $2.86 billion, and after online gambling introduced in 2013 failed to stem the decline, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is currently exploring more ways in which to rescue its beleaguered industry.
As a result, New Jersey is now considering permitting state residents to play social games for real-money within its borders, and so tap into a potential market estimated to be worth up to $10 billion in the United States, alone, according to Gamblit Gaming CEO Eric Meyerhofer. Such a move would put it in a pioneering position compared to other regulated markets, and commenting on how close New Jersey is to making its idea a reality, DGE director David Rebuck, said:
“More and more, we’ve been watching the social gaming arena and hearing about the opportunities it presents. We thought, ‘Wait a minute: Why aren’t these companies coming to us?’ We are ready, willing and able, under existing law, to deal with this. This is not theoretical anymore; this is real.”
Unlike online gambling, social casino games only permit players to purchase virtual chips, which cannot subsequently be cashed out but may ordinarily be used to win preset prizes. If in the future New Jersey was to legalize real-money social gaming, players will subsequently be able to compete against each other at skill-based social games, with the operator then taking a fixed percentage of the money spent.
Also unlike online gambling, there are currently no regulations governing social gaming with responsible safeguards, such as age restrictions, being left to the online providers to decide. Facebook, for instance, requires a person to be 13+ years in order to register and considering the amount of money a player can lose playing even social games, NJ will have to consider a whole range of regulation if it is to make its social games a safe landscape for players.
Finally, the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement has indicated any operator hoping to offer real-money social games inside its borders will have to first seek out a partnership arrangement with a NJ land-based casino, in much the same way as online gambling operators are currently required to do.