On Wednesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released an advisory bulletin regarding deposit bonuses and other promotional programs in the real-money online gambling market set to launch on Nov. 26.
The DGE states that operators will be permitted to offer deposit-matching bonus promotions which restrict players from cashing out until a wagering requirement is met. These restrictions would apply only to the bonus cash involved with the promotion; players will be allowed to cancel the bonus and cash out any of their remaining deposit and forfeit any bonus amount back to the operator.
Operators will be permitted to offer deposit bonuses at least 30 days after Internet wagering is available to the general public, so long as the they can demonstrate the ability to generate accurate revenue reports. The DGE also states that the type of available marketing programs can be expanded "once Internet gaming has had some period of operation."
Here's an example provided by the DGE:
If a player deposits $100 in his account, the operator will also deposit $100, with a $1,000 wagering requirement imposed. The player would wager his own funds ahead of the funds provided by the operator. Any winnings would also be wagered and could not be cashed out until the wagering requirement of $1,000 is reached. If the patron loses all funds before the threshold is reached, the promotion ends. If the patron reaches the $1,000 wagering threshold, all funds become unrestricted and the player may cash them out. If the patron initially accepts the offer, and then subsequently changes his mind and decides to cancel the offer, the player is permitted to cash out any of the $100 which he initially deposited, should any such funds remain. Once the wagering threshold is reached, all funds are unrestricted and no cap is placed on winnings.
New Jersey's online gambling trial run will begin on Nov. 21, and a full launch is scheduled to roll out on Nov. 26. During that five-day test period, players will be selected by invite-only to place wagers with real money.
The five-day window will also allow operators to test identity verification systems, geolocation systems, and transaction processing systems.
"My staff will continually assess the progress of each platform provider before allowing them to open gaming to the general public on Nov. 26," DGE Director David Rebuck told the Press of Atlantic City on Wednesday. "The soft opening will be used to demonstrate to the division that all systems perform as required under the stress of live gaming and that operational and revenue reporting controls are effective."
DGE spokeswoman Lisa Spengler added that the division has the authority to extend the soft play period beyond Nov. 25 if regulators aren't satisfied with the testing.