New Jersey issues skill games rules: one step closer to casino floors

By Alex Hammond
New Jersey gambling regulators have issued regulations concerning the implementation of skill based games in the state’s eight Atlantic City casinos. The move, which is a big step forward in the eyes of skill-based gaming advocates, brings the question of whether skill-based games will revolutionise the gaming industry into even sharper focus.

The rules, posted by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, include a mandate to expressly and prominently inform players that the outcome of their wager would be influenced by physical and mental skill as opposed to the random chance outcomes of traditional casino table games.

Other rules include a minimum payout at a certain percentage of all bets collected, and the prohibition of casinos from increasing or decreasing the level of skill required to win the game based on the skill of any particular player.

“This is another important step towards implementing skill-based gaming in the Atlantic City gaming market,” said Division Director David Rebuck.

‘Although the Division has had the authority to authorise these games for some time and announced in October 2014 an initiative for manufacturers to bring their skill-based games to New Jersey, the industry requested specific regulations to guide their efforts to create innovative skill-based products.”

The move towards skill-based games is seen in the main to be driven by the appetite to attract millennials, who are less enamoured by traditional slots and table games, to brick and mortar casinos. Real-money skill game innovators are developing casino products that millennials will recognise, including arcade games, video console games and versions of popular tablet games such as Angry Birds.

Regulations in New Jersey are the same as those adopted last September in Nevada, meaning that developers only need comply with one set of regulations to be applicable for the casino floor in both of the USA’s traditional casino hubs.

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