New Jersey online operators may require casino licences under Caputo proposal

New Jersey online operators may require casino licences under Caputo proposal

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Online gaming operators in US state of New Jersey could soon be required to acquire their own casino licences under a new proposal put forward by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo.

Caputo, who currently serves as chairman of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and Arts Committee, is known to many as a major opponent of the online gaming sector. As part of an effort to introduce stricter regulations in the market, he has sponsored the bill that his committee backed 7-0 and will now be passed to the state’s Assembly to consider.

If approved, the new bill would require all online gaming companies operating in New Jersey to acquire their own casino licence. The bill would also prohibit the wavering of any licensing requirements.

Current legislation requires online operators in the state to have a casino service industry licence approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) regulatory body. This type of licence is usually issued to casino vendors and enables online operators to link up with land-based casino hotels to offer internet gambling services.

Speaking to The Press of Atlantic City newspaper, Caputo said: “I was never a fan of internet gaming, to be honest with you, but if we’re going to do it, we should do it right. You’re not selling linens, you’re not selling cups, you’re operating an internet casino and the integrity of those games has to be on the same level as casino gaming.”

The potential introduction of these new regulations would intensify regulatory scrutiny by having two different agencies involved in the licensing process. The NJDGE would continue to carry out background checks on the online operator, while the New Jersey Casino Control Commission would have the final say on whether a licence should be awarded.

The latter of these regulatory bodies would also require a public hearing, testimony and evidence as part of its licensing process.  

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