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.
Although by all accounts Pennsylvania’s gaming industry has a been a great success since the first casino opened in the Commonwealth in 2006, the industry now faces stiffer competition than ever for gaming dollars in the region. From 2006 to 2012, gaming revenues grew each year on a year-over-year basis, but declined slightly from 2012 to 2013. Within the next few years, several new casinos will open along the east coast in New York, Massachusetts and Maryland. Additionally, New Jersey and Delaware each recently launched Internet gaming in their states and Delaware has entered into a compact with Nevada to attract more Internet gaming revenue. The stakes are high for Pennsylvania’s gaming industry to remain competitive and to not lose gaming dollars to neighboring states.
On the heels of its decision to award the sole slots parlor license to Penn National Gaming, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is prepared to make headlines again. This time for its scheduled educational forum on Internet gaming. Specifically, on March 11, 2014, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission will hold an all-day forum where industry experts and members of the Massachusetts legislature will present on a wide array of Internet gaming topics.