New Jersey Releases Initial Guidelines for Online Gambling Bonuses & Promotions

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The nitty-gritty details of regulated online gambling in New Jersey continue to emerge as the November 26th launch date draws nearer.

The latest bulletin from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement sheds some light on how online casinos and poker rooms will be able to utilize promotions and bonuses – such as the ubiquitous first deposit bonus – to attract and retain players.

Land-based promotions can transfer online

The DGE apparently gave the green light to casinos seeking to bring an already-approved land-based promotion into the online sphere, saying:

At this juncture, the Division advises that bonus and complimentary programs approved by it in the context of brick and mortar operations are acceptable and can be implemented. This Advisory Bulletin is directed toward Internet-centric programs which are unlike those offered by physical casino operations.

Requirements for restricted bonus funds

The bulletin also covers restricted funds promotions, such as deposit bonuses, where players are given a bonus but restricted from cashing out that bonus (or the winnings generated by wagering those bonus funds) until the player meets certain wagering requirements.

The DGE signaled tentative approval for this type of promotion, with one major caveat and several minor ones.

The major caveat: No promotion utilizing a restricted funds component can be offered until 30 days after launch.

And even then, the DGE is going to want some additional concerns satisfied before they sign off:

Even at the end of the thirty day wait period, a proponent of such programs must be able to demonstrate the ability to generate accurate revenue reports. Once Internet gaming has had some period of operation, the types of marketing programs available can be expanded.

The minor caveats:

  • Cashouts of winnings from bonus funds can be restricted by wagering requirements, but there can be no cap on winnings generated from bonus funds.
  • Terms and conditions must be “conspicuously displayed” to customers.
  • Bonus terms can never force a player to forfeit deposited funds.

You can review the entire bulletin here.

- Chris is the publisher of Grove also serves as a consultant to various stakeholders in the regulated market for online gambling in the United States.
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