This April, bwin.com and Sportech, PLC became the first two companies to receive Casino Service Industry Enterprise licenses (CSIEs) from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. This is a huge milestone for the New Jersey online gambling industry because it marks the end of these companies’ provisional era.
When the New Jersey online gaming marketplace first opened in 2013, all companies who met the Division’s requirements to operate received transactional waivers. A transactional waiver is a preliminary approval from the Division to operate as a casino or gambling-related business in New Jersey. When a company holds a transactional waiver, it operates under the supervision of the Division to ensure its suitability to be continue to operate within the New Jersey casino industry.
Now, bwin.com and Sportech are ready to take off the training wheels and operate independently in New Jersey.
bwin.com is one of New Jersey’s original online gaming providers. It is the software company behind BorgataCasino.com, BorgataPoker.com, and Nj.partypoker.com. The company is based in Gibraltar and has operated gambling websites since 1997. Upon receiving the CSIE from New Jersey, CEO Norbert Teufelberger made the following statement in a press release:
“Receipt of our full license in New Jersey marks an important milestone for our US business. We believe that the path to regulation across the United States is inevitable and expect that other states will soon follow.
Recognized as being the best poker software supplier and for providing the operating platform behind the best mobile gaming product (poker and casino) as well as the operator of the year in New Jersey, together with our partners, we are focused on delivering a safe and secure real money gaming experience for adults wishing to play games using mobile, touch and desktop channels.
We have a demanding delivery pipeline which will provide our customers with further exciting content throughout 2015”
Sportech is another European player in the New Jersey market. Sportech’s story is a little bit different than bwin.com’s and other companies. Sportech has been operating in New Jersey since 2011, when it began as a payment processing site for the state’s off-track betting parlors and offered advanced deposit wagering. It’s a big operation – a recent report showed that Sportech’s New Jersey division processes more than $11 billion in wagers every year.
Like bwin’s CEO, Sportech CEO Ian Penrose discussed the honor of receiving a CSIE in a press release shortly after the company received it. He noted that Sportech was the first European online gaming company to receive this license to operate in New Jersey.
Other Potential CSIE Recipients
When you operate an online casino in New Jersey, the goal is to eventually receive a Casino Service Industry Enterprise license.
Some companies that could receive this license in the future include:
- Gamesys, the company that works with Tropicana
- 888 Holdings, which is partnered with Caesar’s Entertainment
- Betfair, which operates the Golden Nugget’s online casino
- Bally Technologies, another partner of the Golden Nugget’s
The process for being issued a Casino Service Industry Enterprise license is long and complicated. Applicants must first pay a $5000 application fee, which covers 333 hours of investigation from the Division of Gaming Enforcement. If necessary, the applicant may be required to pay for another 333 hours of investigation, up to 1,000 hours total. If the Division needs to spend more than 1,000 hours determining whether the applicant meets its regulations to hold a CSIE, the applicant is billed by the hour.
During the investigation, the applicant must complete a Business Entity Disclosure Form – Gaming. In this document, the applicant must detail the entirety of the company’s financial holdings, expenses, and debts.
These licenses are valid for three years.
Legitimacy for Online Gambling in New Jersey
Companies like bwin.com and Sportech getting their CSIEs is a monumental step for online gambling in New Jersey. Just like the first casinos receiving theirs in the 1970s ushered in a new phase for Atlantic City, these companies are ushering a new age for internet gambling.
At first, online gambling in New Jersey appeared to be off to a rocky start. It faltered and drew initially dismal profits, but the high-performing players kept playing. After a few gaming companies backed out, the success stories kept at it. Now, 2015 is poised to be the comeback year for online gaming in the Garden State.
Bwin and Sportech are hardly bit players. They’re long-term success stories and it makes sense that they are the first companies to receive CSIEs from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. As more companies receive theirs, online gambling will undoubtedly become more and more mainstream in New Jersey, offering players just another place to place their bets.