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Whelan Bill To Authorize On-Premises Mobile Gaming At Casinos Receives Final Legislative Approval

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 37-1, receiving final legislative approval.

“Casino gaming is the lifeblood of South Jersey’s economy, and we have to be willing to adapt in order to survive,” said Senator Whelan, D-Atlantic. “Handheld, mobile gaming devices have already been adopted in Las Vegas, and allow casinos the opportunity to extend the gaming floor to anywhere within their premises. By authorizing New Jersey casinos to take advantage of this new technology, we’re putting Atlantic City’s casino industry on an even competitive field with our competitor to the West.”

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.

“With the New Jersey shore as a backdrop, mobile wagering devices could really be a significant revenue stream for our casinos and an important part of their bottom line,” said Senator Whelan. “This bill contains the appropriate safeguards necessary to prohibit underage gambling, and ensures that mobile gaming devices will be governed by the same rules and regulations as any other authorized casino game. As part of the larger efforts to make our casino industry competitive, mobile gaming devices will be a welcome addition to casino wagering in the 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 Governor to be signed into law. It was approved by the Assembly earlier this week by a vote of 77-0, with two abstentions.

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