Latest Gambling News: ‍New Jersey Considers Gaming Advertising, Racetrack Slots, and more

Kat Pilkington


January 15, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our gambling compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

New Jersey Considers Gaming Advertising, Racetrack Slots

The New Jersey Senate will consider two bills, one which restricts gaming advertising and another that would allow slot machines at the state’s racetracks. 

State Senator Joseph Cryan, a Democrat, pre-filed Senate Bill 2156 for the 2024 session that would restrict advertising for casino games and sports betting under certain circumstances.

Both casino and sports-betting licensees would have to ensure their advertisements are not deceptive or fraudulent, do not target self-excluded persons, and do not appeal directly to those under the legal age to gamble. 

Cryan’s bill requires the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to “promulgate rules to restrict advertisements.”

Republican Senator Joseph Pennacchio also pre-filed SCR 14, a proposed constitutional amendment giving the legislature the authority to establish slot machines at horse racetracks.

The proposed amendment does not set a tax rate but sets aside 60 percent of the revenue for state’s public employees retirement system, 30 percent to Atlantic City casinos, 7 percent to fund programs for the recovery or improvement of Atlantic City and 3 percent to the state’s horsemen. 

Both measures were filed with the Senate Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee.

Industry Veteran Richard Flint Won’t Seek Flutter Board Re-Election

Richard Flint will not seek re-election to the Flutter board of directors at the operators upcoming annual general meeting (AGM) scheduled for May 1,2024.

Flint, who was the former executive chair and CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming, joined the Flutter board in May 2020.

No further details were provided by Flutter in its announcement on Thursday (January 11).

888 Fined In Virginia Over Unauthorized Wagers

The Virginia Lottery Board has approved a settlement agreement with 888 US for accepting wagers on in-state college teams, which is a violation of state gaming regulations. 

According to the settlement agreement, in October 2023, it came to the lottery’s attention that 888 may have accepted wagers on Virginia college teams.

In a memorandum dated December 4, 2023, the lottery informed 888 of its belief that these facts constituted alleged violations of the state's sports-betting law and related regulations and that these actions were sanctionable. 

The lottery did not identify the incidents in the four-page settlement agreement. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, 888 will pay $15,000 to the lottery for deposit into the state’s general fund.

Currently, there is a bill being considered in the Virginia General Assembly to allow wagers on in-state college teams. Senate Bill 124 permits betting, with the exception of proposition betting, on Virginia college sports.

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

AGA Introduces Anti-Human Trafficking Training

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has partnered with RG24seven Virtual Training to offer a set of free online training materials to combat human trafficking in the gaming industry.

The materials were released on Thursday (January 11), which was National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. 

The materials offered to the industry are based on the AGA’s Guide to Preventing and Combating Human Trafficking and draws on expertise from the association’s Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, nonprofits, and law enforcement.

“Combating human trafficking is integral to our industry’s commitment to the communities in which we operate,” said Alex Costello, AGA’s vice president, government relations.

“The AGA is proud to lead the industry’s fight against this abhorrent crime and this free training empowers employees at all levels to spot and prevent cases of human trafficking,” she added.

Asian Investors Dump Stake In Tigre De Cristal

The Vladivostok casino once developed and controlled by Melco Resorts & Entertainment boss Lawrence Ho and jailed junket titan Alvin Chau is being sold to a Russian interest, apparently ending the region’s experiment with major foreign investment for gambling.

Hong Kong-listed Summit Ascent, a company controlled by Ho before ceding board control to Chau in 2019, will sell its entire stake in the Tigre de Cristal casino hotel in the Primorye region’s casino zone through its majority-owned subsidiary Oriental Regent.

The sale was announced by Oriental Regent’s minority owner Firich Investment on Taiwan’s stock exchange on Wednesday (January 10), which noted its loss in investment would be counterbalanced by the termination of exposure to the troubled Russian market.

Once touted as a future regional hub for casino gambling, the Primorye zone has only one other casino, the Russian-owned Shambala.

Other foreign plans for the zone are yet to bear fruit, with South Korean investors yet to open a property and Cambodia’s NagaCorp pulling out of the market.

Sports-Betting Bills Alive In Washington Legislature

Two bills supported by Washington’s largest cardroom operator to authorize sports betting at cardrooms and racetracks remain viable pieces of legislation as state lawmakers are now into the second half of their biennium session.

House Bill 1630, and companion measure Senate Bill 5587, would only let existing licensed cardrooms and racetracks apply for a sports-betting license. 

Both bills would also legalize fantasy sports while making so-called pick’em style games illegal games based solely on the performance of an individual athlete, or the score, point spread, or any performance of any single team or combination of real teams.

The 60-day legislative session began on Monday (January 8). HB 1630 remains in the Committee on Regulated Substances and Gaming, while SB 5587 is waiting for a vote in the Senate Committee on Business, Financial Services, Gaming and Trade. 

Maverick Gaming supports expanding sports betting beyond tribal casinos. The company has also sought a court ruling to invalidate tribal-state compacts and its case is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. 

“I know that our perspective on sports betting is at odds with those who prefer a monopoly for tribal casinos, but I respect their right to advocate for their members,” said Maverick CEO Eric Persson. 

“Maverick Gaming will one day offer sports betting at its properties in our state, either following a ruling by the United States Supreme Court or an inclusive policy discussion by the state legislature that is founded in facts."

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