The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission have agreed to collaborate in preventing unlicensed online operators from accepting bets from New Jersey and other U.S. states through the Continent 8 data centre situated on tribal land, according to reports Tuesday from the Associated Press news agency.
The agreement comes into force at the end of this (September) month, and originated after the DGE learned that one of its licensees, Continent 8 LLC, may have provided services to illegal gambling websites through its Kahnawake-based data centre..
DGE Director David Rebuck revealed that his organisation held discussions with the First Nation and its Kahnawake Gaming Commission regulator on the issue, saying:
“The Division is pleased to have the KGC’s assistance as a fellow regulator and looks forward to working together in the future. We were able to reach a series of agreements that are amenable to all of the parties involved and satisfy the division’s regulatory concerns. The division appreciates the KGC’s commitment and looks forward to its continued cooperation in the fight against unlicensed internet gaming traffic.
“This agreement is an important step in ensuring the integrity of internet gaming operations in New Jersey and helps ensure that online gaming patrons can play on fair, regulated sites.”
The agreement effectively obligates the KGC to make sure that operators under its licensing jurisdiction do not accept wagers from any US state where such betting is illegal.
It follows an expose last year in which the New York Times revealed that a number of online gambling operators were targeting US punters through Continent 8 services; the newspaper queried the situation with the DGE, where Continent 8 had been awarded a transactional waiver in 2014, placing it under DGE regulatory authority.
The DGE confirmed to the newspaper that under its DGE approval Continent 8 had due diligence obligations. The expose may have resulted in a DGE investigation and subsequent liaison with the KGC resulting in the potentially far-reaching collaborative agreement announced this week.
New Jersey is by far the largest of the three state-regulated US online gambling markets at $148 million.