Online gaming bill makes New Jersey progress

By David Cook
New Jersey Assemblyman Ralph Caputo has set the wheels in motion for new legislation which would require online gambling operators in the state to hold a full casino licence.

Caputo, who is opposed to online gambling, saw his bill passed in a unanimous 7-0 vote by committee members last week.

He told The Press of Atlantic City: “I was never a fan of internet gaming, to be honest with you. Those results have been very disappointing. But if we’re going to do it, we should do it right.”

Internet operators are currently required to have a casino service industry licence approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and must also partner with a brick-and-mortar casino in order to offer online betting services.

Under the new proposal, the DGE would continue to conduct background investigation checks on operators, but the New Jersey Casino Control Commission would then be required to decide whether to issue that operator with its own licence.

As well as introducing the stricter process, the new bill would also prohibit the waiver of any licensing agreements.

Approval by the Full Assembly is required before the bill can become law and Caputo is looking up a sponsor for a companion bill in the Senate.

Caputo is also against the involvement of online poker operator PokerStars, which he previously called a “disgraced company”.

“While a casino operator is required to go through an exhaustive vetting process, as it stands now, Poker¬Stars and its new owner will face no such scrutiny as the online gaming law requires the company to be licensed only as a vendor, a much less stringent approval process and one that does not require any public transparency.”

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