A recently released Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy report entitled “Review of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001” identifies mandatory deposit limits on internet gaming accounts as a means to combat problem gambling in Australia. The Australian report recommends that every account holder be required to set their own deposit limit. Deposit limits are typically set on a 24-hour basis, identifying the maximum amount a user can deposit into his or her wagering account in a 24-hour cycle.
As competing jurisdictions in the U.S. look to launch internet gaming, each has identified problem gambling as an important part of the enabling legislation. Legislators and gaming regulators alike are concerned about the problem gambler at home - the theory being it is much easier to spot a problem gambler in a casino than it is to spot one on the internet. In light of the Australian Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy’s push for mandatory deposit limits, I looked at how the various U.S. jurisdictions have dealt with deposit limits.
New Jersey and Nevada have taken a similar approach – requiring internet gaming licensees to ensure that online gamblers have the ability to set deposit limits through their online accounts. See Section 23.1(b)(1) of New Jersey internet gaming bill, A-2578 signed into law by Governor Christie and Nevada Regulation 5A, Section 120(13). Users, however, are not required to identify a deposit limit.
Delaware has taken a similar but slightly different approach. The Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act of 2012 authorizes the Director of the State Lottery to promulgate regulations governing internet gaming. Those regulations must include a mechanism by which the Lottery, in addition to the internet gambler has the ability to institute a deposit limit. 29 DE Code, Section 4826(c)(5). How the Delaware Lottery interprets this provision remains to be seen – on a case-by-case basis or across-the-board limits applicable to all internet gamblers.