On 30th April 2013, the state of Nevada made online gaming history, when it officially introduced a legal and regulated internet gambling market in the U.S.A. for the first time in 15 years. Only a few months later, New Jersey followed suit. The state’s legislature overwhelming approved a fully regulated state-restricted internet gambling market, on a 10-year trial basis.
With a troubled history of Ponzi schemes, fraud and lost player funds, the industry is set to benefit greatly from the new stricter regulations. Customers have a safer and more secure alternative to unregulated gaming sites, with an improved player experience and greater protection. In addition to increased player satisfaction, the new market is also generating valuable funds for New Jersey.
The major advantages of New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market are:
Licensing ensures only the best operators are available
Before New Jersey legalised online gambling sites, players were faced with a wide variety of untrustworthy operators. Thanks to the stricter requirements by the Division of Gaming Enforcement, only approved operators are granted a license. This means any sites that could pose a potential threat to players are identified and removed from the market.
Despite criticism that these suitability requirements are discouraging casino brands to pursue the New Jersey market, they are the best and most effective way of ensuring player protection.
Stricter identification checks keep players secure
Internet gaming can remain highly competitive with brick and mortar establishments, thanks to online casinos with live games and a wide variety of slot and table titles. However, previously they failed in comparison to their physical counterparts when it came to identify verification checks, leaving players vulnerable to potential fraudulent activity.
New Jersey’s comprehensive identify verifications for their online gaming sites have been praised as being more effective than land-based casinos. Registrants are restricted to one account and must provide various sensitive information, which is verified via multi-factor authentication using information from government and third-party databases. Sophisticated geo-location technology is used to ensure the player is located within the state’s boundaries, while identification is required to prove they are 21 years old or over.
Customers can benefit from more reliable payouts
A major concern for many online players is the speed and reliability of their cash payouts. Unlicensed gaming sites can vary dramatically in the time period it takes to process payout requests. While some are very quick in their payments, others can be known to take up to three months. This can be even more worrying when considering brands such as Full Tilt Poker, who left patrons facing lengthy refund processes.
The laws outlined by New Jersey give players a much clearer picture in regards to their payouts. Regulated operators are required to give all their customers a clear estimation on payment times. Potential for lost funds is also eliminated, thanks to iGaming laws that state all casinos in New Jersey must ensure the security of their patron’s funds by keeping them in a separate New Jersey bank account. This gives complete peace of mind to players when it comes to their money.
More protection is available for potential addicts
The legalisation of iGaming has the potential to lead to a rise in problem gambling. However, New Jersey has ensured that support and self-imposed restrictions are available to any player who thinks they may be at risk. While some unregulated sites already offer these restrictions, the lack of them across the board meant that it was very easy for players to hop between sites and continue wagering their funds.
One of the major benefits of the regulated New Jersey market is that the regulator can monitor a player’s tendencies, therefore helping to identify when problem gambling is becoming an issue. A self-exclusion list is also compiled from any individual who submits a request, and individuals can choose to exclude themselves from both live and online gambling for greater protection. Each site is also responsible for offering their players the option to set self-imposed daily, weekly and monthly limits on deposits, helping them to reduce any monetary damage.
There is already evidence that regulation can help tackle gambling addiction. A 2013 report by Ariel showed that France’s online problem gamblers reduced from 8.3% to 6.6% in a two-year period since regulated iGaming was introduced in 2010. The greater support offered by New Jersey’s approved operators can help to achieve similar results.
The industry generates valuable revenue
Under New Jersey’s legislation, all online gambling revenue from authorised operators is taxed at 15%. This has led to the generation of revenue for the state. Despite issues stemming from a decline in demand for online poker and payment processing issues, the regulated online gambling market in New Jersey has been pegged to experience a 25% boost in revenue since 2014.
The growth in revenue is expected to continue, thanks to improved processing, increased content, higher acquisition and the introduction of further approved brands in the future. The state’s iGaming market could generate a massive $150 million in revenue by the end of 2015.