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Whelan Bill To Authorize On-Premises Mobile Gaming At Casinos Approved In Senate

Measures Would Also Make Other Changes to Casino Regulations

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Jim Whelan, the Chairman of the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, which would allow casinos to offer mobile gaming within their premises, and would make other changes to the casino regulatory structure was approved by the Senate today by a vote of 34-0.

“When it comes to casino gaming in Atlantic City, we have to be willing to change with the times in order to remain competitive against an ever-growing field of competitors,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Mobile, handheld games of chance have already been adopted in Las Vegas, and not only do they provide an enjoyable experience for casino patrons, but they expand casino revenues and offer a new gaming attraction for visitors more interested in the resort-side of the casino experience. Authorizing casinos in New Jersey to adopt this new technology puts the casino industry in Atlantic City on an even competitive field as casinos in Las Vegas when it comes to mobile gaming within the casino premises.”

The first bill, S-1323, would make a number of changes to the regulatory structure of casino gaming in New Jersey. Under the bill, casinos would be able to allow for electronic versions of authorized games of chance to be played on mobile gaming devices within the casino and adjoining hotel, as well as any outdoor swimming pool area or outdoor recreational area, provided the player has established an account with the casino licensee, and the wager is placed by and paid to the patron in person within the approved hotel facility. The mobile gaming device would be required to be inoperable outside the approved casino or hotel facility.

“Particularly in Atlantic City, with the appeal of the shore as a backdrop, mobile wagering devices could be an important part of the casino’s bottom line,” said Senator Whelan. “This bill contains appropriate safeguards to prohibit underage gambling, and ensures that mobile gaming devices are governed by the same rules and regulations as any other authorized casino game. Taken with the sum total of the rest of the initiatives enacted in recent years to bolster casino gaming in Atlantic City, mobile gaming devices will be another feather in their cap, and will result in more casino revenues and better economic output to the benefit of South Jersey and the entire Garden State.”

The bill would also expand the definition of a corporate officer under the regulatory framework of casino gaming in New Jersey, and would restore language which would allow casinos to compensate a junket enterprise based upon the actual casino gaming or simulcast wagering activities of a patron procured or referred by the junket enterprise.

The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration.

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