New Jersey’s Gaming regulators garnered attention this week by issuing a press release that they are accepting applications for skill-based games for play in New Jersey’s casinos. This was a friendly reminder to the industry of two things: (1) that the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s current regulations already allow for skill-based elements in slot machines; and (2) the Division’s “New Jersey first” policy, whereby gaming products that are submitted for testing to New Jersey prior to, or simultaneously with, any other jurisdiction or testing lab, if approved, can be on the casino floor within 14 days.
The broader implications, while not mentioned in the press release, are that once approved, skill-based games may also be offered for real money play over the internet. New Jersey’s internet gaming law allows the Division to approve for wagering on the internet, any game authorized for play in a New Jersey casino.
The Division’s press release went so far as to identify skill-based games “Candy Crush” and “Words with Friends” by name, acknowledging the appeal of such skill-based and social games to “a new generation of players.” It is this appeal that has the gaming technology industry seeking to seize upon the vast reach and popularity of the social and skill-based gaming arena. At the industry’s largest annual gaming industry trade show, Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, technology companies such as Gamblit Gaming were promoting the adaptation of social and skill based games for real-money gambling. This is precisely the type of innovation, if done correctly, New Jersey’ regulators are seeking to approve for use in its gaming industry – both in its casinos and on the internet.