What A Proposed New Jersey Online Gambling Bill Means For U.S. Operators
For months lawmakers in New Jersey have been presiding over a bill that would allow for online gambling. The state’s Senate Committee already approved the bill back in early April, but it was only just passed by the House Committee late last week.
One of the most striking and important aspects of the bill from the perspective of operators will be the section governing geolocation compliance.
“No software, computer or other gaming equipment shall be used to conduct Internet wagering unless it is able to verify that a player placing a wager is physically present in this State at the time that the wager is placed.”
Moreover, the bill will require that the location of a player is verified each time a wager is placed. The responsibility of making sure this requirement is met will fall on the Division of Gaming Enforcement, who will perform continuous checks of operators’ equipment.
Being compliant with legislation like this would be challenging in any state, but will be even more difficult in New Jersey because its two largest cities are located just a few scant miles from New York. If operators fail to utilize highly reliable and accurate geolocation and geo-fencing technologies they might be forced to impose large buffer zones to ensure compliance with the law. This would result in operators having to exclude New Jersey citizens from gambling online if they live too close to the border.
Such a scenario is obviously undesirable for operators, as it would mean a smaller audience of people to market to, and in turn decreased revenues and profits. With that said, such laws will be necessary as accepting players from states which do not allow online gambling would be a violation of the law.
In summary this gambling bill demonstrates the need for accurate and reliable geolocation solutions with the emergence of online gambling in the US. Failure to implement such systems could result in operators facing fines and having their licenses revoked.