SBC Summit North America hosted live Martin Lycka’s Safe Bet Show, where his guest – prominent industry figure David Rebuck – praised the recent governance of New Jersey.
With Rebuck being in the industry for over 20 years now, he’s been one of the leading contributors for the developments in the sector in the states. Being an active Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Rebuck began with an analysis of the state.
He noted: “The state of New Jersey has been well covered by two excellent governors over the last 12 years. With that being said, why was New Jersey so ready to embrace the risk of internet gaming and take on the federal government and sports wagering?”
“Diversification would come through online”
Providing historical context, Rebuck continued: “Initially, casino gambling in New Jersey was a boom and was so successful, but there was no competition. And with the success of casino gambling, other states started copying and all of the sudden, you had this massive explosion of legalised casino gambling in the US.
“That being said, now you have a lot of competition, a lot of saturation, a lot of choices for consumers and the industry was struggling in New Jersey to compete. You had to be different, you needed to diversify your offerings. The diversified gambling would come through a new product – that being online, controlled by the casino industry, having the licence to do it, having a monopoly on that, as well as sports wagering.
“And then there had to be a commitment from the industry to invest in their property, employees, and to live up to their benefitted bargain with the state, while the state did the things that it had to do.”
“We’re in a very good position”
Rebuck also took time to reflect on the fears revolving around change, painting it as unreasonable when pitted against the successful run of online gaming.
He continued: “There’s real fear of internet gaming by people who just don’t know how it’s to be regulated. There’s a fear of change, of failure, of fraud. Today, still, there’s a lot of people that don’t want internet gaming and internet sports wagering.”
But Lycka’s fellow panellist hurried to reassure that those fears are unfounded, highlighting the good relationship between the industry and the state: “I feel very strongly that today we’re in a very good position in the state for the gambling industry living up to its bargain of what it has to do for economic development.”