NJ clears way for portable gambling devices in AC

Associated Press Published: October 9, 2012
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The devices would have to be used on casino property. Technology exists that can render them inoperable beyond certain geographic bounds. The only parts of casino property where they'd be off-limits are parking lots and garages.

The law permits the use of iPads, smartphones and other wireless devices, as well as hand-held devices issued by the casinos.

The move to allow hand-held gambling devices is one of several expansions of gambling that New Jersey plans for Atlantic City, which is locked in fierce competition with casinos in neighboring states. In addition to its uncertain progress toward Internet gambling, New Jersey also plans to offer sports betting, perhaps as soon as December. The state is being sued by the major professional sports leagues over its plans for sports betting, which is currently prohibited by a 1992 federal law.

Casinos can offer electronic versions of games of chance to be played on mobile devices within the casino and adjoining hotel, as well as any outdoor swimming pool area or outdoor recreational area. The player has to first establish an account with the casino, and the bet must be placed, and any winnings paid out, within the casino.

The rules require companies that provide software that will be used for mobile gambling to obtain a casino service industry license. The devices must have the capability to screen out players who are under the age of 21, who are banned from casinos by the state or by having placed themselves on a self-exclusion list, and it can establish daily limits on a customer's portable gambling.

Wireless communications between the device and the computer server must be encrypted using technology approved by the state.

Casinos would have to appoint a mobile gambling manager responsible for overseeing the operation and integrity of the system, and tasked with reporting any suspicious behavior to authorities.

Winnings from the mobile games could be used to pay for additional play, can be cashed out at a casino cage, or wired to a pre-approved bank account.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC



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