When Internet gambling begins this month in New Jersey, players might not be able to cash out their winnings right away.
The state's top casino regulator says casinos can require gamblers to reach a certain amount of play before cashing out.
An advisory bulletin issued Wednesday by David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, illustrated one of the many challenges the new form of gambling will bring to the state. The division has had to issue guidelines that apply specifically to online betting operations, including technology and offers that did not exist before.
Rebuck said the state has been approached by several online gambling companies asking about the type of promotions they can legally offer to customers, including promotions that require a customer to reach a certain level of play before cashing out winnings from the account.
For instance, a casino can make an offer in which it requires a customer to deposit $100 in an account, and matches that with $100 of its own. The casino could require the customer to make $1,000 worth of bets before cashing out any winnings.
The casino also can require that a customer's first bets come from his or her $100 deposit before the casino's matching funds are wagered.
Once the specified level of play is reached, all money in the account becomes unrestricted, and the casino cannot place a cap on any winnings by the player. Rebuck said the state would prohibit any promotion in which a casino tried to cap a player's winnings after a certain minimum level of play has been reached.
The player could walk away from a promotional offer partway through, and cash out any of his or her initial deposit that remains in the account.
Rebuck said the terms of such a promotion must be clearly spelled out for the customer before an offer is accepted.
Online betting begins a five-day trial period Nov. 21, with a statewide rollout Nov. 26.
The test will run from 6 p.m. Nov. 21 to 2 a.m. Nov. 23; 8 a.m. to midnight on Nov. 23; and it would be continuously allowed on Nov. 24 and Nov. 25.