Mario Galea has been hired as a consultant by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) to help guide the state as it pursues the regulation and launch of online gaming.
The appointment comes just one week and a half after Mr Galea was taken on as Chairman of the Lotteries & Gaming Authority of Malta (LGA), a body where he was previously the CEO.
Draft legislation was recently put on the New Jersey legislative website for viewing by stakeholders and the general public. The final bill is set to be officially published on June 2, which will mark the beginning of a 60 day public comment period. When this period expires, the DGE will review and respond to all comments made during the period and will then pass the bill through the state legislature.
DGE Director Dave Rebuck said that Mr Galea was selected from a shortlist of seven candidates and would immediately begin his new role. Mr Rebuck had previously said the DGE needed additional technical resources and expertise to help push through online gaming regulation.
New Jersey have certainly attained that expertise with the appointment of Mr Galea as a consultant. Mr Galea served as LGA’s CEO between 2004 and 2008, and oversaw the introduction of laws permitting online gaming in Malta. This made Malta the first EU member state to regulate online gaming, which was carried out in May 2004.
These regulations have helped establish the southern European country as the largest online gaming jurisdiction in the world, with around 300 online gaming companies basing their operations in Malta.
Along with his experience in his home country, Mr Galea has also run his own gaming consultancy service, which he based primarily in the United States. This has helped give him a well-deserved reputation as a knowledgeable and experienced figure in the gaming world with a strong expertise on gaming regulation.
With Nevada already establishing a legal online gaming market, and with other states set to launch similar markets, Mr Galea’s appointment will certainly help establish New Jersey as a primary area for poker in the US and North America as a whole. His track record in Malta shows that he is highly capable of guiding New Jersey through setting the foundations for a flourishing online gaming industry.
While a deadline to open the online gaming market has been set for November 16, Mr Rebuck said that the market in New Jersey would likely be launched between Thanksgiving and Christmas.