New Jersey Releases Skill-Based Casino Game Regulations

NJ skill-based casino game regulations

Taking a page out of the Nevada handbook, New Jersey gaming regulators have released on Tuesday temporary regulations that will determine the use of skill-based gaming machines in casinos in the state. The DGE, or Division of Gaming Enforcement, issued the guidelines for their use in Atlantic City casinos, although they are temporary, it was done in good faith to the agreement made with casino operators and game developers in 2014.

Testing the Skill-Based Games

Seeing as how these regulations are temporary, which were taken straight from how Nevada is currently handling these types of games, the DGE still needed to make sure that the games be tested and vetted. This is done in hopes to find good rules that will govern the use, as well as the manufacturing of the skill-based casino games. As David Rebuck, Director of the DGE stated,

This is another important step towards implementing skill-based gaming in the Atlantic City gaming market. Although the Division has had the authority to authorize these games for some time and announced in October 2014 an initiative for manufacturers to bring their skill-based games to New Jersey, the industry requested specific regulations to guide their efforts to create innovative skill-based products.

By following the regulations, developers can create or innovate upon already popular social games and create them specifically for casino use. Seeing how well the machines do on the casino floor is one step closer for operators to try and make up for lost revenue as the younger crowd prefers more interactive games, rather than sitting at a slots machine for hours pushing a few buttons hoping that luck is their side.

As they are copying the same guidelines and rules put in place in Nevada, which means that any games that have been approved there will also be approved in New Jersey. This was done in order to try and standardize the process, making it easier for developers and casino operators to get their games into multiple locations in different states, without having to jump through more hoops.

Fast-Track to Success

The DGE has also made it a point to help developers get their games approved quicker through the New Jersey First provision. This allows companies to fast-track the approval process if they submit their product to New Jersey at the same time that they do with another jurisdiction or a testing lab. This would help the companies get their games on to the casino floors within 14 days.

This has prompted many developers to start working on real-money gambling versions of video games like Guitar Hero and even first-person shooters, others are going in with arcade games like Pinball, Pac-Man, or Asteroids, and some developers are going with social games like Angry Birds. All of the games will follow the same regulations, which include:

  • Games pay out a certain percentage of bets collected.
  • Prohibit casinos from making games harder or easier to win while in progress, based on the skill of the player.
  • Monitoring programs against collusion and money laundering in multi-player P2P games.

Casinos will market the concept that players can win these games by using their physical or mental skill, rather than winning based on luck or random chance. This is one strategy that was done to bring in younger players and replenish profits by dwindling slots and older game market.

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