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New Jersey Regulator Explains the Dirty Activities of Online Operators in Grey Markets

- April 20, 2016 By Oliver Young -

Flag of New Jersey

Jurisdictions where it’s not clear whether online gambling is legal or illegal are considered grey markets, says the director of the DGE

The gambling regulatory body in the US state of New Jersey published a file on its website explaining its view on how dirty online gambling licensees can get through their activities in legal ‘grey zone’ markets.

In an advisory bulletin titled the “Impact of operations in grey markets on suitability for licensure”, the director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey, David Rebuck, tried to explain to what level of grey market operators the body will tolerate among its operators looking to obtain a gambling license in the state.

Grey vs. Black Markets

The director continues to describe the difference between grey and black markets. Under the term ‘grey’ he refers to jurisdictions where online gambling operations are an open question which is not yet answered, while under ‘black’ markets he points to governments that have already taken concrete actions and have laws that prohibit online gambling nationwide or have publically issued pronouncements that gambling on the web is not illegal. The Division of Gaming Enforcement also explains that online gambling businesses that operate in black markets won’t be able to establish a good reputation and integrity required to obtain a valid license to offer their gambling services and products in New Jersey.

The situation is, however, different for businesses that operate in grey zone markets, but not in black markets. Rebuck says that as long as a jurisdiction hasn’t taken any concrete actions against online gambling sites, operators that work in these markets shouldn’t fear of anything in New Jersey.

The regulatory body further points out that determining what is considered a legal online gambling activity in one nation can be considered wrong in another country or be misinterpreted. Rebuck refers to the difficult situation among the members of the European Union that don’t want to give up national authority to comply with the principles of fair and open competition set by the EU. But the body adds that it won’t adopt a standard and change its own judgment based on that of another jurisdiction’s legislative body.

Why Now?

It’s obvious that the advisory bulletin of the Division of Gaming Enforcement in New Jersey comes after the regulatory body was forced to consider whether or not to allow the operations of Bwin.party websites licensed by the jurisdiction. Bwin.party was acquired by the UK-based GVC Holdings, whose website Sportingbet gets most of its revenue from legally questionable markets.

Two months ago, the licensing jurisdiction in New Jersey announced that the sites run by Bwin.party can continue with their operations while the body is considering the application of GVC for local licensing. The later, in turn, announced that their PartyPoker brand, which does business in New Jersey, will be re-entering about twenty markets including markets such as Poland where the view of online gambling is particularly dim.

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