Since the start of legal iGaming in New Jersey, regulators have struggled to understand affiliate marketing. Just two weeks before launching, the Division of Gaming Enforcement decided that affiliates needed an “ancillary” license rather than just a vendor registration, causing much confusion.
While just a handful of affiliates have been licensed, there are many that promote the illegal sites alongside the legal, regulated New Jersey online casinos. While the DGE has sent letters to some of these sites, including CardsChat.com, PokerSource.com, RakeBrain.com, Pokersites.com and RaketheRake.com, they issued no policy statements until last month.
A memo released by the agency gives affiliates 150 days to abide by state regulations that prohibit such joint promotion. At the end of that time, the DGE says it will conduct a review of the affiliates, and suggests that enforcement action could be forthcoming. The agency says the casinos are able to “wind down” their relationships with online casinos by that time.
At the same time, DGE Director David Rebuck says the agency will not consider actions by affiliates promoting illegal U.S.-facing casinos after passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, that would bar them from licensure.
“After careful consideration, the division has made a determination that the conduct of affiliates after UIGEA can be distinguished from past conduct of online operators and payment processors,” said Rebuck.
So, affiliates that want to operate in New Jersey will not have that history held against them, and if they comply with the standard DGE investigation, most of them should get licensed, as long as they’re in compliance with current regulations.
Some licensed affiliates complained that it has cheapened the process.
“Maybe I should promote the illegal sites for 150 days before the hammer comes down,” stated one disgruntled legal and licensed affiliate. “Maybe then I’ll make some money!”