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New Jersey Halts Player Bonuses for 30 Days

New Jersey poker players who have been anxiously awaiting the state’s online gambling launch in hopes of earning first-time deposit bonuses that are a standard promotional strategy within the industry will have to wait a bit longer.

Under the authority of Director David Rebuck, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released guidelines yesterday pertaining to bonuses and promotions to be offered by the online gaming sites. The DGE advisory bulletin states that “bonus programs which place a wagering-based restriction on funds” cannot be offered until 30 days after the launch date.

Online poker promos centered around first-time deposits typically require players to earn a certain amount of player points before bonus cash is released into player accounts. Should the newly-launched online poker rooms in New Jersey plan to offer signup bonuses in step with the industry norm, this would seemingly fall under the wagering-based restriction that state gaming regulators intend to delay for 30 days.

The bulletin further states that after the 30-day period has expired, those sites wishing to offer bonus programs must show evidence of revenue reports whose accuracy finds favor with DGE regulators. It is apparent that gaming officials are intent on permitting New Jersey’s online gambling regime to settle in, so to speak, as “the types of marketing programs available can be expanded” once the initial period of operation has passed.

The 30-day wait period is also in effect for bonuses associated with casino games that typically require a certain amount of wagering or ‘play-through’ before bonuses are earned, released, and subsequently withdrawn. The DGE bulletin also made mention of the fact that the online gambling sites are required to make clear in no uncertain terms the conditions and parameters of all bonus offers and promotions.

Rebuck issued the bulletin after a number of licensees inquired as to whether any limitations on the marketing efforts of the Internet gaming sites would be imposed. The new licensees received their answer and it is likely not what many were hoping to hear.

New Jersey’s online gambling soft launch is slated to begin at 6 p.m. on Nov. 21 and run until 2 a.m for invited players. The sites will be in operation during the same times the following day. The window of available online gambling will double to 16 hours on Nov. 23 from 8 a.m. until 12 a.m., the Press of Atlantic City reported.

The sites will operate 24/7 beginning on Nov. 24 for the final two days of the scheduled soft launch. If DGE officials are content and deem the soft launch successful, the full launch for all adults located within New Jersey will commence on Nov. 26.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.