Online Lottery In New Jersey

In early 2011, New Jersey passed up on an opportunity to implement an online gambling law because the governor vetoed a bill that had previously been passed by the state Senate and House of Representatives. The bill is now back within the government with an attempt to implement an online lottery. More specifically, the bill is seeking to allow the purchase of state lottery tickets over the Internet.

An Opportunity At Additional Revenue

Every American state that runs a lottery has proven it is a successful method of generating additional revenue. However, at this time lottery tickets are only sold in physical retail outlets. An article on discusses the pros and cons of implementing an online lottery. The bill was introduced by Legislator Annette Quijano in the State Assembly. The bill has already been presented to the Assembly Gaming Committee and easily passed.

Terms Of The Bill

The lottery bill will permit New Jersey residents to purchase state lottery tickets through the Internet, email, text messaging, and other electronic channels. The winners would be paid by the lottery commission through direct deposit into their bank accounts.

Opposition From Civil Groups

As with most gambling bills, the opposition has arisen from civil society groups. The group’s primary concern is the purchase of lottery tickets by minors and the potential for an increase in problem gambling. However, the bill offers a variety of built-in measures to counter negative social effects. For instance, payments can only be made through debit cards which would eliminate the potential for purchase without the required funds.

Opposition From Convenience Store Owners

The opposition also originates from convenience store owners that claim they will lose sales of coffee and food from customers that purchase these items while buying lottery tickets. Convenience store owners profit a nickel on lottery tickets but at least a dollar on a cup of coffee. This opposition has been countered by the measure in the bill that distributes five percent of online sales to lottery retailers to compensate the lost business.

The New Jersey Lottery Commission has not released a statement with regards to this proposal. Commission members are scheduled to meet shortly to discuss the bill. Minnesota started offering online ticket subscriptions in November 2011 and New York and Maryland are considering a similar proposal. The legalization of the sale of online lottery tickets could be the first step toward the complete legalization of online gambling in the future.

Online Gaming Hearing In Washington

The Finance and Revenue committee recently met to discuss several issues related to the Washington D.C. online gambling bill which included the practicalities, legality, and propriety of legalized online gambling in D.C. The bill was originally proposed as part of a supplemental budget in December 2010. Since there was no hearing related to the bill, the Mayor of Washington wanted to learn more about how the initiative would be regulated before making a decision.

Federal Legality

With regards to legality, it has been confirmed that intrastate online gambling complied with United States federal laws. Therefore, the D.C. Lottery could proceed with the launch of the system scheduled for September 2011. As a result, it is likely the idea will be adopted by other states contemplating the legalization of online gaming.

Issue Of Advanced Notice

The hearing also addressed the issue of advanced notice not being given. It was noted that the bill was introduced to the proper legislative bodies four months before being voted on which is a sufficient amount of time. Therefore, most of the councilors were aware of the proposal although several had not yet been exposed to the bill.

Measures For Responsible Gambling

The Executive Director of the D.C. Lottery outlined the measures that needed to be implemented to confirm the District’s citizens will be gambling responsibly. For instance, players will not be permitted to deposit more than $250 per week. Also, payments could only be made through a debit card to prevent players from wagering with borrowed money.

Hot Spot Locations

A player’s age will be verified and Internet Protocol is expected to be logged for all players. The initial playing hot spots will include hotel rooms, bars, and other establishments that provide WiFi. However, schools, libraries, and recreation centers will not be hot spots. All wagering patterns will be monitored electronically and those that do no wager responsibly will no longer be able to participate in the activity.

The District Chief Financial Officer estimates revenue of $13 million over four years which is conservative. Other speakers at the hearing indicated that part of the revenue should be earmarked to support gambling addiction services. Despite support from the mayor, until the bill is signed into law, nothing is a done deal. Hopefully, the D.C. Lottery has ironed out all the wrinkles and is ready to implement the system In September.

Revamping Of The United Kingdom Online Gaming Laws

United Kingdom-based newspaper The Guardian recently released a report that the British Culture Secretary wants to make additions to the upcoming renovations of the online gambling laws. The new focus will be on the regulation of overseas online casinos that target United Kingdom players. This new attention is a direct result of Black Friday which is the indictment of the three largest online poker rooms in the United States: Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker, and PokerStars.

Advertising In The United Kingdom

In addition to being two of the largest online poker rooms in the United States, Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars are also the most popular in the United Kingdom. In recent years both operators have spent millions of dollars to advertise their services to British players. Full Tilt Poker is currently licensed by Alderney and PokerStars by the Isle of Man, two popular jurisdictions amongst many of the United Kingdom gambling sites.

PokerStars Repayment

PokerStars is now refunding United States-based players while continuing to operate in other areas of the world. Unfortunately, Full Tilt Poker is unable to repay United States players which have resulting in a great deal of controversy. At the moment, the company is looking for new owners and partners.

Making Money From Overseas Advertisers

The Secretary of British Culture will be spearheading the reform effort. The Minister of the United Kingdom is attempting to ensure the Exchequer receives a cut from online gambling efforts. As a result, new advertising restrictions for offshore casinos and new guidelines to protect British players are under review.

The Current Gambling Act

The current Gambling Act allows offshore online gambling companies to advertise and operate without a United Kingdom license assuming their jurisdiction is on the white list. The majority of jurisdictions are in the European Union. Therefore the United Kingdom Gambling Commission relies on the integrity of approved overseas regulatory bodies.

The Isle Of Man Licensure Requirement

One of the most trustworthy regulators is the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission thoroughly reviews every key official at an online gambling company. The jurisdiction also has the authority to reject any company it does not feel comfortable with approving. As a result, the Isle of Man has one of the most stringent licensing requirements in the industry.

United Kingdom officials will be making announcements regarding the changes soon. Depending on what new additions are made, this could significantly affect the country’s online gambling industry.