The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is proposing the option to provide online gambling websites with the ability to sponsor and bankroll celebrity players at their Internet casinos.
In a proposal to alter the current online gaming standards and operational controls, DGE Director David Rebuck suggests a new measure to “allow Internet gaming operators to utilize celebrity or other players to participate in peer to peer games for advertising or publicity purposes.”
The modification would also grant operators with the right to decide whether to fully fund a celebrity’s bankroll or simply pay an appearance fee for their participation.
“If an Internet gaming operator employs a celebrity player and does not permit the celebrity player to retain the winnings generated, the Internet gaming operator shall include those winnings as Internet gaming gross revenue in a manner approved by the Division,” Rebuck stated.
Matter of Public Opinion
The public is being asked to comment on the measure, along with two other stipulations that concern the location of Internet gaming servers and changes to social casino games.
The assumed goal of the proposition is to assure the growing iGambling market in New Jersey continues that trend.
Bringing celebrity players to the tables online would very likely not only generate added media attention to the industry, but theoretically also new players.
New Jersey won $122 million in 2014, its first full year of legalized online gambling. It’s already matched that figure in 2015, Internet gaming win tallying $121.6 million through October.
The PokerStars Factor
Amaya was granted regulatory approval by the DGE to bring its PokerStars and Full Tilt poker brands to the Garden State in late September. The launch is expected to commence sometime in 2016, and with it will probably come an influx of returning Internet poker players.
The delay is due to a series of conditions set forth by the DGE that required certain changes in managerial leadership and the settling of outstanding player balances stemming from the seizure and closure of the sites by the Department of Justice in 2011.
Motioning to adjust operational standards on behalf of the DGE could be a subtle and rare concession by gaming authorities to the multibillion-dollar gaming conglomerate.
Plenty of press and fanfare will naturally come with the PokerStars entrance into the New Jersey gaming market, but the site might still be interested in employing its long roster of celebrities to help make the inauguration extra special.
Considering everyone from poker legends Daniel Negreanu and Chris Moneymaker to soccer superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar Jr are members of Team PokerStars, it only makes sense that the world’s most bountiful online poker destination would look to utilize its Rolodex of stars through various promotional events.
Of course, none of those persons need to have their Internet gaming bankrolls funded. Instead, the changes to DGE statutes probably have more to do with legality and transparency among gaming operators online.
Sitting down with Negreanu at the felt is a lifelong dream for many poker fanatics, even in a virtual capacity. Ditto for soccer fans who would never have the chance to share the pitch with Ronaldo or Neymar, poker affords them the ability to interact with the futbol icons.