The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement announced on March 18, 2013, the temporary adoption of regulations which authorize Atlantic City (AC) casinos to offer fantasy sports tournaments to their patrons. The regulations will become effective April 22, 2013.
The regulations permit the casinos, by themselves or in partnership with fantasy sports providers, to offer fantasy sports tournaments or contests.
The temporary adoption comes as AC casinos are still hurting and continue to show a decline in revenue and patrons. The downfall of the casinos are for a host of reasons, the economy, neighboring states that have adopted gambling legislation and have built casinos closer to home for out of state patrons and arguably the “over the top” prices that casinos charge for rooms, entertainment and food. The casinos are their own worst enemy when it comes to the latter of those reasons. They priced themselves out of the market in an economy where people are looking for the best deal for their entertainment dollar.
“The casinos vast customer base and the ability to have contest winners utilize the casino cage to accept entry fees for fantasy sports tournaments and pay out winnings resulting from those tournaments provides an exciting opportunity to bring fantasy sports tournaments to Atlantic City,” said Director David Rebuck. “We see this as an added amenity and beneficial to the casinos and their customers.”
“These regulations continue to ensure integrity in gross revenue accounting by allowing the Division to maintain the authority to approve how transactions relating to fantasy sports tournaments are processed by the casino cage,” said Rebuck. The casinos will be required to submit to the Division internal controls on their cage processes.
The minimum age for participation in fantasy sports tournaments at a casino is 21 and the temporary regulations will remain in effect for a period of 270 days. Within that time period, the Division will propose them for final adoption.
Thinking that fantasy sport games will entice customers and increase revenue in a significant fashion and bail out an industry on life support is probably the biggest fantasy of all.