New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie

Legal online gambling could roll out in New Jersey as soon as November 16. That’s the word from the state Department of Gaming Enforcement, the agency tasked with establishing licensing and regulatory schemes.

That mid-November target date is neither random, nor wishful thinking and is actually mandated by state law. Under terms of the new online gambling bill, that was just signed into law last week, an official start date must be targeted within 90 to 270 days of the bill’s passage.

Garden State gaming regulators will not, however, be starting from scratch. They’ve been working on getting their regulatory framework online-friendly since the Wire Act reinterpretation in 2011.

The licensing process in New Jersey is similar to the process in Nevada (and, indeed, Nevada is one of the states that was consulted during the research period). Would-be licensees will start out with an in-depth background. Once cleared, their software will be subjected to rigorous testing and analysis.

Though New Jersey gaming regulators will be very busy in the months ahead sorting through the challenges of starting online gambling from scratch, they will benefit from Nevada’s experiences. The Silver State has already issued a number of licenses and wrestled with thorny questions like, whether or not operators who served US players pre-2012 will be eligible for licenses?

It should also be noted that the bill passed last week only covers casino games. The sports betting question is still being contested and is a long ways from any sort of resolution.

Is New Jersey’s plan too ambitious? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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