The new bill that would permit Atlantic City casinos to offer Internet gambling contains strong provisions for protecting playersThe bill was filed last week two Republicans in the New Jersey Assembly, the state’s lower house.
The bill would legalize what it calls “remote live gaming.” That means the casinos could use streaming video to let players from all over the world gamble on real, live table games in real timeIt would not legalize betting on computerized slot or video poker machines, nor sports betting.
Current New Jersey law requires that casino gambling take place within the Atlantic City casinos.
The new bill would require that remote gamblers be at least 21 years old and residents of a jurisdiction in which it is legal to engage in remote live gaming.
Experts disagree about whether existing technology can block access to gaming sites minors or residents of jurisdictions where online gaming is illegal, but the sponsors of the New Jersey bill – Joseph Azzolina and Nicholas Asselta — seem to have no doubts.
“Our legislation would extend the arm of the law into cyberspace utilizing available technology to screen out minors or persons attempting to play a game from a prohibited jurisdiction,” Asselta said in a press release.
The bill says that the New Jersey Casino Control Commission would issue regulations specifying what types of proof would be required to document the age and residency of remote gamblers.
People who make false statements when they apply for a remote account may be subject to prosecution, the bill statesHowever, it’s not clear that New Jersey would have the legal authority to prosecute citizens of another state or country.
Anyone on the list of people who are excluded from Atlantic City casinos will not be permitted to have a remote account.
The bill forbids credit gambling on remote live gamesIt says that casinos may not accept wagers that exceed the funds already deposited in a remote account.
A remote account could be funded check, money order, wire transfer, credit or debit card, transfer from a “stored value card” or other means approved the Control Commission.
Stringent Player Protection Provisions
The player protection measures would be among the strongest in the worldFor example, the casino would be required to send a check or electronic transfer payment within three business days of the receipt of a proper withdrawal form from the player.
The casino would have to make available to remote account holders a display of the current amount of money in the account, the money the player has won or lost during the current session and the details of all previous sessions, including the date and time of play and the amounts won or lost.
In addition, the display would have to include the complete rules of the Control Commission regarding the games and remote gaming procedures, as well as the approximate odds of winning each wager.
To help problem gamblers, the Web sites would have to continuously display a phone number for assistance to problem gamblersThey would have to provide a method for gamblers to: set their own loss limits and the length of time they would be barred from playing once they reached those limits, limit the maximum size of any single bet, and temporarily suspend remote gaming for a set number of hours or days.
The casino would not be allowed to send mail or email promotions to a remote account holder during the time that the player was under a self-imposed suspension.
Also, the Control Commission would be required to determine an amount of losses a remote gambler that would trigger a required notice, mail and email, from the casino to the player listing all of the player’s winnings and losses and giving information for assistance to problem gamblers.