Poker Players Alliance executive director John Pappas is satisfied with how the final New Jersey Internet Gambling regulations turned out from a player's perspective.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released a draft of the regulations last week, also announcing a start date of Nov. 26 for Internet gambling within the state. The final regulations become effective Oct. 21.
"I think there are more encouraging signs out of the final draft regulations than need for concern," Pappas told PokerNews. "I think players are certainly enthusiastic about them getting off the ground and sticking to the time table set up months ago. There's lots of work to do from now until November, but I think they are on the right trajectory and have good consultants to help them do this the right way."
After the DGE first released proposed regulations in May, Pappas met with DGE representatives during the comment period to express the PPA's concerns with an elaborate three-step log-in process and the forfeiture of balances in accounts that lay dormant for a year.
The updated rules solve the log-in issue by requiring just one strong authentication — such as a PIN, electronic token or answering predetermined questions — beyond the traditional username and password.
"I think that has been streamlined and is done in a way that is more player friendly, and won't discourage people from playing by adding another layer to access an account," Pappas said. "That was a positive step in the regulations."
On the issue of dormant accounts, the final regs added that patrons are required to be notified of the forfeiture rule but are vague on how this contact would take place. If it's simply one mention in a long list of terms and conditions that few people will read through at sign up, that wouldn't be as helpful as attempting all ways to contact a player prior to seizing the money.
Pappas indicated he is confident that notice of forfeitures will be handled the right way despite not being explained in the regulations.
"In a conversation I had with regulators, they made clear to me the intention to provide players with notification before funds are forfeited," Pappas said. "They said that ample notice would be provided at the time of signing up and at the time the account laid dormant for 12 months. It won't happen too often, but there may be a circumstance where a player has not played for a year and should be notified ahead of time if the funds will be forfeited."