New Jersey Gaming Regulators Warn Offshore Affiliates about Promoting Illegal Sites

October 17th, 2018 by CardsChat News

New Jersey gaming regulators are sounding the alarm on what they see as a threat to regulated gambling operations in the state — the continued operation and promotion of illegal, offshore sites.

New Jersey gaming

DGE director David Rebuck (left) wants to ensure all sports betting New Jersey is done above board. (Image: PIX11.com)

“The illegal market is massive in the US, and it has been for a long time, stunningly to us,” David Rebuck said earlier this month at the G2E Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas.

Rebuck is the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), and he’s been working behind to scenes to do something about the issue.

Online Poker Report revealed that Rebuck and his team are attempting to clear out competition from unlicensed sportsbooks and gambling sites, at least partly by warning companies that promote these sites that they will not be able to be licensed in the state if they maintain relationships with unlicensed operators.

In a letter sent to one gaming affiliate and obtained by OPR:

“This letter shall serve as official notice that your website, by offering unauthorized gaming links, is promoting activity that is contrary to New Jersey and federal law,” Rebuck writes. “We request that you immediately remove any online gaming links that are not authorized under federal law or the law of any State.”

Guilty by Affiliation?

In a New Jersey legislative hearing last month, Rebuck indicated that regulators had pinpointed 108 illegal gaming sites currently available to US customers, and noted that some affiliates doing business with licensed New Jersey operators are also offering players in the state the ability to gamble with unlicensed, unregulated operators.

And that is something Rebuck says DGE will aggressively try to stop.

“The division will not license or register any company that is promoting illegal sites, as this activity negatively affects that company’s good character, honesty, and integrity,” the letter read.

The DGE reportedly would make it the responsibility of licensed gaming operators to not do business with affiliate sites that are partners with rogue gaming operators that have no license and do not make any effort to stop people in New Jersey from playing on their site.

Defending New Gaming Ground

It’s not a recent problem — Rebuck has been trying to crack down on offshore sites since 2014 — but is an especially pertinent one.

New Jersey was among the first to legalize sports betting in the wake of a landmark decision by the Supreme Court to overturn a federal ban on the activity.

With so many vested interests, the stakes are suddenly much higher, and the early results have been mixed. While sports betting revenues have hit a robust $40.4 million since June, the take for online poker plunged to a record low in September.

Those legal operators want assurances that everyone is on an even playing field. Sites such as Bovada don’t have to pay the same taxes, giving them a leg up on the operators that are licensed in New Jersey.

The DGE is making it clear that, if it can’t shut down such sites, it’s going to do everything in its power to at least cut off any support from US operators.

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