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New Jersey Senator Introduces Gambling Bill Package Aimed at Strengthening Consumer Protections and Increasing Tax Revenue

State Senator John McKeon Significant changes could be on the way for the gambling industry in New Jersey. State Senator John McKeon has recently introduced a gambling bill package designed to reinforce protections for minors and compulsive gamblers as well as increase tax revenue from online gambling.

The first bill in the package, S-3062, would prohibit underage players from placing non-monetary wagers on games that target the young demographic and mimic gambling. As Senator McKeon explained in an interview with NJ Spotlight News, instead of rewards, these types of games provide players with points, which “conditions the brains of the children to get ready to gamble.”

The second bill in the package, S-3063, is specifically meant to address some growing concerns that have emerged since the legalization of online gambling in 2018, such as an increase in gambling addiction rates. At present, players from New Jersey can voluntarily self-exclude themselves from gambling at Atlantic City land-based casinos and online gaming venues.

Under current law, gambling operators do not face legal repercussions if they “knowingly enable a person’s gambling addiction”, as the senator explained. If passed into law, the bill would enable players to hold operators “civilly accountable” for offering gambling products to individuals on the self-exclusion list.

The third bill in the package, S-3064, is aimed at increasing the tax proceeds from gambling, to 30%, from 15% for online gaming and 13% for online sports betting. Senator McKeon explained that the proposed increase was still less than the rate in neighboring states such as Pennsylvania (36%) and New York (51%), but it would generate hundreds of millions of dollars in tax proceeds annually. He said that raising the tax on online gambling revenue would put the state “on par with neighbors”, adding that part of the revenue stream would be allocated to prevention, education, and treatment programs.

The Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey and the Casino Association of New Jersey Respond to the Gambling Bill Package

Senator Vince Polistina Both the Council on Compulsive Gambling in New Jersey and the Casino Association of New Jersey have responded to the news regarding the potential changes in New Jersey’s gambling industry.

In its statement regarding the recently introduced gambling bill package, the Casino Association of New Jersey said it“strongly opposes any proposed tax increase for online gambling.”

Senator Vince Polistina has voiced his disapproval of the proposed gambling tax hike, saying that just increasing taxes would not make any sense.

However, the Council on Compulsive Gambling has stated its support for the implementation of stricter measures, especially concerning problem gambling and the receipt of gambling marketing materials from players who have placed themselves on the self-exclusion list. Over the last five years, calls to the state’s helpline have soared to 277%, as reported by the Council on Compulsive Gambling, with the greatest number of problem gamblers aged between 25-34. The volume of calls from individuals aged between 18-24 has doubled, which is an even more alarming trend, according to the organization’s officials.

While the proposed bills are still under consideration, there is a unanimous agreement that a public awareness campaign about the risks associated with gambling is much needed.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.