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NJ Gambling Regulators Won’t Prosecute Illegal Internet Gambling Sites, Affiliates Yet

Written by:
Associated Press
Published on:
Jun/09/2015
NJ Gambling Regulators Won’t Prosecute Illegal Internet Gambling Sites, Affiliat

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Associated Press) — New Jersey gambling regulators won't prosecute companies that help facilitate illegal Internet gambling if they knock it off within 150 days.

In an advisory bulletin last week, New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck said his agency will not prosecute any company that promoted, marketed or directed New Jersey customers to illegal Internet betting sites after legal Internet gambling began here in November 2013, provided they cease such activity in the next five months. The same amnesty will apply to companies that helped facilitate Internet bets after passage of a 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling law.

"It is clear that those illegal online gaming sites who accept wagers from players in New Jersey pose a significant threat to the regulation of lawful gaming," Rebuck wrote.

He said Internet gambling companies that are licensed by New Jersey had to go through an elaborate, time-consuming process that included a thorough investigation of their business history, the functionality of their systems, and the "good character, honesty, integrity and financial stability" of their executives and principal owners — requirements that illegal sites do not have.

Licensed operators in New Jersey also have to implement procedures guarding against fraud, money laundering and underage gambling, and must comply with consumer protection laws regarding honest advertising and timely payouts.

"Unlicensed online gaming sites are not subject to any of these requirements and testing protocols and therefore are lacking important integrity and public safety protections," Rebuck wrote.

Companies that continue to operate illegally risk prosecution and will not be approved for legal Internet gambling in New Jersey should they apply in the future.

Internet gambling is off to a slow start in New Jersey, one of three states that allow it, along with Nevada and Delaware. New Jersey won $122 million from Internet customers in 2014, its first full year of operation, and state officials are trying to increase that figure through a number of means, including seeking compacts with other states to increase betting pools and trying to deter illegal betting sites and their facilitators.

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