Real Money Social Media Games?

Updated on November 27, 2014

Some big changes are coming to New Jersey’s online casinos. Just last week, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement issued four amendments to our current gaming regulations. These amendments will allow the companies behind the current online casinos to offer new types of games to New Jersey gamblers. But the type of games they’re now able to offer might surprise you.

All Your Facebook Favorites

candycrushThat’s right. You’ll soon be able to fund your in-game Candy Crush Saga and Words with Friends purchases directly from your online gambling account balance.

This does not mean that you’ll be able to play Candy Crush Saga for money. Believe me; if that was a possibility, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing articles about it. What it means is that there are new rules for the licensing of affiliate marketers associated with online casinos and these rules, among other changes, now allow game developers to create new games and license them exclusively to online casinos. Unlike under the old rules, new games are not required to be made available to every casino. That means that if, for example, Borgata hired a development team to create a series of puzzle games, those games would be offered exclusively through Borgata’s website.

All we know so far is that game developers will be able to combine social and skill-based gameplay with traditional games of chance. How much of the game may be skill-based versus how much must be chance-based has yet to become public knowledge.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

With affiliate marketing, businesses work with marketers to promote themselves to a larger audience. These marketers are known as affiliates and they run advertisements for these sponsoring businesses on their own websites. The business rewards its affiliates by paying them either a flat rate or a per-click fee for every visitor who uses the ad to reach their site.

The laws that govern online gambling in New Jersey recognize two different categories of affiliates: vendors and ancillary casino service enterprises, or ancillary CSIE’s. Vendors are the companies that provide goods and services to casinos, such as gaming equipment and repair services. Ancillary CSIE’s are directly supply casinos with support services for their operations. Examples of the services ancillary casino service enterprises may provide are junket enterprises and their representatives and the licensing of authorized games.

What Other Changes Did These Amendments Bring?

The rules regarding affiliate marketing for online casinos weren’t all that changed with these new amendments. Most notably, one of the original Casino Control Act revisions’ restrictions was loosened.

The initial revision to the Casino Control Act that allowed internet gambling companies to offer gaming to New Jersey players required all online casinos’ servers and other operational equipment to be housed within brick and mortar casinos in Atlantic City. When the wave of closures began earlier this year, this requirement posed a problem for certain gaming websites.

Betfair and Ultimate Casino were both partnered with Trump Entertainment Resorts’ properties this way. Ultimate Casino, which was partnered with Trump Taj Mahal, decided to exit the New Jersey online gambling sphere after an accusation of a contract breach regarding its partnership with the Taj Mahal. Betfair, which was partnered with Trump Plaza, had to scramble to find a new partner when its host folded. Under this month’s revision to the Casino Control Act, gambling websites may now house their servers elsewhere. They’re still required to keep this equipment within Atlantic City’s municipal limits, but may keep them in any location as long as it’s secure and leased or owned by the casino that operates the website it serves.

The First Native American Tribe to Run An Online Casino in New Jersey

The other big change is more of a milestone for the New Jersey gambling scene. For the first time ever, a Native American tribe will operate an online casino in New Jersey. The Pala Band of Mission Indians, a tribe from San Diego county in California, will soon operate Pala Interactive, LLC, through the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Operating a casino is nothing new for the tribe, which operates the brick and mortar Pala Casino in San Diego, California. Only time will tell if the tribe’s success with a land-based casino will translate to success on the internet, serving a market on the continent’s opposite coast.

The Year in Review: 2014

These changes are a lot to process. They’re all part of the trial and error that come along with launching a new industry.

As a New Jersey gambler, I’ve got to say, it’s been a trip. Here we are only a year since New Jersey’s online casinos launched and in that time span, we’ve seen closures both online and on the boardwalk, union disputes, family-friendly attempts to pump life back into our aging oceanfront playground, and the continually evolving debate over bringing casino gambling to other cities in the Garden State brought up, shot down, and brought up again.

As a millennial and a self-proclaimed smart phone junkie, I’m looking forward to playing games like Candy Crush Saga and Words with Friends using my online casino accounts. With new games and different ways to play, this legislation gives the creative minds behind popular casino games a new platform on which to express themselves. Alongside that, it gives serious and casual gamers alike new ways to interact and have fun together through the internet.

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