Summary: The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is taking action against online gambling sites in the state that are operating illegally.
New Jersey is one of only a handful of states that currently have legalized online gambling in operation in the US. Despite the legal means to offer services, illegal gaming sites are still at play in the US, including in New Jersey. The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has stated that they are now getting serious about taking action against online gaming sites that are illegal operating in their state.
According to the OPR website, A letter was sent by the agency warning affiliates about the consequences that will arise from marketing to customers in their state. The illegally operating sites most likely received the same or a similar letter.
The issue first came to light when David Rebuck, the head of the DGE, began to become more vocal about the problem of illegal operations. As sports betting becomes more prevalent, the issue of illegal competition will only continue to grow in the state.
Rebuck stated during the Global Gaming Expo last week that the illegal market is ‘massive’ in the US and that it has been for quite a long time. Rebuck pointed out that it is easy for a player to look up how to bet in a state, such as sports betting or casino. They are then taken to an illegal website and the site is readily available. In a short time, the player has opened an account and placed bets at the illegal site.
In September, Rebuck made it known that the DGE had determined that over 108 offshore gambling sites were currently providing services to customers in the US. The sites are usually based in Costa Rica or Antigua and operate out of the reach of state officials.
It seems the DGE is taking a creative approach and setting their sights on the affiliates of the illegal online operators. The affiliates are the promoters behind such brands and the DGE is letting them know that its not okay and that any affiliation with such sites needs to stop. In the letter, the DGE stated:
“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. We request that you immediately remove any online gaming links that are not authorized under federal law or the law of any State.”
It seems the only operator that Rebuck has mentioned by name when discussing illegally operating sites is Bovada. The Bovada brand has been active in the United States for several years and they have offered services without obtaining licensing. It seems Rebuck is now ready to take on any brand that is not licensed and make them have to obtain an operating license if they are to offer services in his state.
Regulators have decided to send copies of the letters they sent out to affiliates to the Division of Criminal Justice. This was done so that the group can consider taking legal action. Violators are at risk of breaking state and federal laws regarding racketeering and gambling advertisement.
Affiliates who continue to work will illegal sites will be banned from associating with those who are licensed in New Jersey. This would definitely have a negative effect on those affiliates in the state who work with both licensed and unlicensed operators.
We shall see in the coming weeks if further action is taken and if any more details are provided by the DGE as to what they plan to do about illegal operators.