ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey moved forward Friday with its plans to offer Internet gambling, issuing regulations on how the new online bets are to be handled.
The rules offered by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement include techniques to verify that players are within New Jersey's geographic boundaries, include a 15 percent tax on casinos' online winnings and add cautions for people at risk of becoming compulsive gamblers.
The state still has not set a date when Atlantic City's 12 casinos may begin offering Internet bets, but such gambling is expected to start before the end of the year.
"New Jersey has once again proven to be in the forefront of casino gaming with the development of Internet wagering regulations for all casino games," said David Rebuck, the division's director.
The rules also allow New Jersey to make agreements with other states or countries to offer Internet gambling as long as it is legal in both places. Nevada and Delaware also have legalized Internet gambling, and other states are expected to follow suit soon.
Online games will mark the biggest expansion of gambling in New Jersey since the state's first casino opened in 1978.
Rebuck said the state studied gambling regulations in other jurisdictions that permit online wagering — Nevada; Alderney, part of the British Channel Islands; France; Spain; Italy; and Denmark — and adopted some of their best practices.
It also reviewed standards set by the U.S. Federal Reserve regarding network security and incorporated standards recommended by the National Council on Problem Gambling.
For instance, players can set daily deposit limits for themselves.
When a player has reached a lifetime deposit total of $2,500, the system will not let him or her make any further bets until the player acknowledges having reached the $2,500 threshold, and acknowledges having the ability to either set daily limits or cancel the account should he or she choose to do so. The player would be told about and have to acknowledge knowing about the availability of the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline for compulsive gamblers.
The rules also require casinos to make sure underage customers and people on exclusion or self-exclusion lists cannot access the system.
The rules will be published in the New Jersey Register on June 3, followed by a 60-day comment period, and will become effective once regulators can review and respond to the comments. Rebuck will specify a date that casinos can start taking Internet bets at least 45 days in advance.
Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC
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