Two bills working their way through the New Jersey Legislature would allow the use of mobile gaming devices for wagering at casinos and at state racetracks.

The first bill, S1323, passed by the Senate on May 31, would allow the Division of Gaming Enforcement to, by regulation, authorize the use of mobile gaming devices within a casino hotel.  In order to engage in mobile gaming, the player must establish a wagering account with a casino, and the wagers must be placed from, and paid out, within the premises of the casino hotel.  A mobile gaming device must be inoperable from outside of the casino hotel.   The definition of hotel premises includes an outdoor pool and any outdoor recreation areas, but excludes parking lots.  By regulation, the Division of Gaming Enforcement may impose stricter standards if it believes those standards are necessary.  A version of this bill has passed the Senate, and a separate version is pending in the Assembly, so the two bills will need to be reconciled before final passage.

In the horse racing realm, on May 24, the Assembly passed, and sent to the Senate, A2610, authorizing the placement of horse race wagers using a mobile device, including devices such as iPads and iPhones.  The legislation would permit the use of a mobile device to wager on races either being run or simulcast at a racetrack.  The bill would also permit the use of mobile devices for wagering in other designated areas of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, such as the under-construction American Dream complex across the highway from the racetrack. 

In order to take advantage of mobile wagering, the customer must be physically present at the track (or permitted wagering location), and the device must be able to lock out wagering from outside of the permitted areas.  Assemblyman Ron Dancer, one of the bill’s primary sponsors and a former chairman of the New Jersey Racing Commission, has described this bill as an effort to allow racetracks “to take advantage of the technology that people are so accustomed to using.”  Under the bill, the New Jersey Racing Commission would have the authority to prescribe regulations governing the use of mobile devices for wagering.