New Jersey Casino Battle Spills Over, Online Branding Measure Moves Forward

The ongoing battle in the US state of New Jersey over whether land-based casinos will remain confined to Atlantic City or be allowed elsewhere in the state has now spilled over into the online-gambling sphere.  The latest skirmish comes courtesy of a new legislative measure designed to require that the state’s online sites carry specific, always-present branding that ties each site to its corresponding land-based casino.

Welcome to New JerseyThis new “forced advertising” measure, Assembly Bill 2811, is sponsored by NJ Assemblyman Ralph Caputo and was introduced in February.  Last Thursday, it easily cleared an initial vote in the New Jersey Assembly’s Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee by a 6-0 count, with that committee being chaired by Caputo.

Following the vote, Caputo’s office in Trenton issued a brief statement.  Let’s toss that in here, then get to where all things seems to be a bit fishy, at least from this outside-looking-in perspective.  Here ’tis:

Caputo Bill to Promote Atlantic City Casinos in Online Gaming Sites Advanced by Assembly Panel

(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) requiring gaming websites affiliated with Atlantic City casinos to promote the casinos on their websites and advertising was released Thursday by the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee.

“Amid all the new stories and headlines, it is easy to forget that Atlantic City still has plenty to offer as far as gambling, dining, shopping and entertainment,” said Caputo (D-Essex), who chairs the committee. “We should use every opportunity available to promote the casinos still standing and remind potential customers that there is still plenty to see and do in Atlantic City.”

The bill (A-2811) would require each casino licensee that conducts Internet gaming in partnership with its Internet gaming affiliate under a license issued by the Division of Gaming Enforcement to prominently advertise the name of the casino and its Atlantic City property on each Internet gaming website it operates under that license, and to prominently print, display, announce, or otherwise disseminate that name on each form of Internet gaming advertisement conducted by the licensee or its Internet gaming affiliate. The bill would require the division to review each licensee’s Internet gaming website and Internet gaming advertisement for compliance with these requirements.

Well, okay.  Duly noting that Caputo is the chair of this tourism committee, it’s also duly noted that Essex County is the Newark area in northeastern New Jersey, meaning the very area that is trying to get New Jersey law changed so that they can have casinos of their own, to draw customers from next-door New York City.  It’s a vicious factional battle within New Jersey over expanding casinos to be statewide, compounded by the fact that the ever-more-isolated Atlantic City offers less and less that makes long-distance customers want to invest the hours it takes to get there.

Atlantic City’s decline has been going on for decades, and despite the seemingly pro-AC quote from Caputo in the presser above, this looks more like the metaphorical wolf in sheep’s clothing.  There really aren’t a lot of good reasons as to why the AC casinos with online presences should be forced to brand their sites in the way Caputo proposes, except and unless New Jersey opens up statewide casino licensing.

Why look!  Should casinos suddenly appear in northern new Jersey, then such forced advertising on the online sites surely to follow for those northern New Jersey casinos will also carry that same required branding — a constant reminder that those non-AC casinos are just a very short drive away from New Jersey’s major population hubs.

Color me cynical.  And color this as being more than just a bit disingenous.  The Jersey casinos have every incentive to advertise and promote themselves on their own online sites as they best see fit.  Caputo’s proposal appears to be a little bit more than your typical unwarranted government interference; it seems to be paving a path or statewide casinos — at Atlantic City’s expense — despite its claims to the contrary.  This bill offers no clear benefits to Atlantic City’s already-existing casinos, but it does offer potential benefits to new casinos that might be improved up in Caputo’s portion of the state.

COMMENTS

Leave a Comment

*

LATEST NEWS

filter by

Haley Hintze

17th January 2020 // Legal News, Misc, News

Pennsylvania’s Penn National Fined for Poker Tourney Regulatory Misstep

Pennsylvania casino entity Mountainview Thoroughbred Racing Association, LLC, the parent company of the Hollywood...

Haley Hintze

16th January 2020 // Legal News, Misc, News

Failed Australian Poker Backing Deal Results in Lawsuit Against James Hopkins

Another poker story emanating from Australia in recent days is a failed backing deal in which a related team of backers...

Haley Hintze

15th January 2020 // Industry, Legal News, Misc, News

Australian Regulator Orders Blocking of Ignition Casino, Eight Other Sites

Australia’s online poker players have seemingly lost another outlet for playing their game with the news that...

Haley Hintze

14th January 2020 // Misc, News, Poker Tournaments

World Series of Poker Announces 2020 ‘Championship’ Event Slate

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) has continued fleshing out the 2020 WSOP schedule of events. In recent days, after two...

Haley Hintze

11th January 2020 // Industry, Misc, News

Global Poker Awards Announces 2020 Voting Process, Expands Categories

The poker world’s largest celebration of its own, the Global Poker Awards, has announced more details for its...

Dan Katz

11th January 2020 // News, Online Poker Action

It Could Maybe Happen: 25-Cent Pokerstars Spin & Go’s Have a $1 Million Jackpot Chance This Weekend

The great advantage to being a micro- to low-stakes online poker player, as I was when I was able to regularly play...