New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement Issues Skill-Based Slot Machine Policies

Players might soon be playing Guitar Hero Slots for real money.

Players might soon be playing Guitar Hero Slots for real money.

New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement issued regulations to allow skill-based gambling devices on the floor of the state’s eight casinos. The DGE’s new rules follow Nevada and Massachusetts, which previously passed laws which pertained to skill-based games.

One of the regulations passed called for casinos to post that the outcome of slots games could be affected by the physical and mental skills of the player. When the games arrive in Atlantic City casinos, it will be the first time ever skills slots have been in local gaming establishments.

David Rebuck on Skill Slots

Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck said, “This is another important step towards implementing skill-based gaming in the Atlantic City gaming market.”

“Although the Division has had the authority to authorize these games for some time and announced in October 2014 an initiative for manufacturers to bring their skill-based games to New Jersey, the industry requested specific regulations to guide their efforts to create innovative skill-based products.

The new regulations cover several aspects of the game, including the house edge, in-game modifications, collusion, and money laundering. Experts says the policies are similar to the ones implemented in Nevada last year. That stands to reason, because US states often follow Nevada’s lead on gaming law. Also, the same gaming companies pushed both sets of laws.

Skill-Based Slots Policies

Expected Return – Casinos are required to have minimum requirements on the expected return.
Degree of Difficulty – Casinos cannot change the degree of difficulty while a game is being played.
Collusion – Safeguards were designed to keep players from colluding in player-vs-player games.
Money Laundering – The collusion policy was designed to keep gamblers from laundering money on the slots.

Money laundering happens when a money was collected through illegal means. To obscure the trail of money and transfer the cash from one person to another, organized crime (and other criminals) have used casino gambling to launder the money. The anti-collusion policy keeps a player from intentionally losing to another competitors, in an attempt to pass laundered cash to a criminal conspirator.

Even in the 21st century, casinos have been used for money laundering. Last year, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation was fined a record $47 million for allowing a suspected Mexican drug lord gamble in one of its Las Vegas casinos. The man is thought to have lost the money on purpose, in an attempt to launder the money.

About Skill-Based Slots

Casino companies asked Nevada lawmakers to pass skill-based gaming last year, after the companies analyzed statistics that showed people of the millennial generation were not interested in slot machine gambling.

Millennials grew up playing video games, so they see pure games of chance as boring and pointless. The skill slots are designed to introduce skill elements into the game, so bad play might yield an 88% expected return, while good play might yield a 98% return.

Licensed Skill-Based Slots

It is thought the new games could be lucrative licensing opportunities for the most popular mobile gaming apps, online games, and video games. Rumors suggest that games like “Angry Birds”, “Guitar Hero”, and “Words With Friends” might be converted into skilled-based slot machines. Even old arcade and Atari favorites like “Pac Man” and “Space Invaders” are being turned into slot machines.

DGE Policies

The DGE policies includes a fast-track provision. The slots manufacturer who can bring their devices to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement before any other state is assured of having those machines on casino floors within 14 days.

The fast-track policy is likely to help Atlantic City casinos promote themselves as having the first skill-based slot machines on the East Coast. Pechanga Gamblers are going to excited to play the new machines, especially if they have prior skills at the bonus games be offered.