The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) has acknowledged eCOGRA’s suitability as a Private Testing and Certification Facility (PTCF) authorising the independent testing laboratory to provide a full suite of regulatory certifications to online gambling operators and suppliers.
eCOGRA is the first laboratory headquartered outside of the US to be assessed as fit by the PGCB after undergoing rigorous probity and technical capability checks.
Commenting on the authorisation, eCOGRA Chief Technical Officer Bradley Khoury said that it was the end product of close liaison and hard work by his professional staff and the licensing authority, and was achieved after a stringent review of the eCOGRA systems and professional capabilities by the regulator’s Gaming Laboratory Operations.
Shaun McCallaghan, eCOGRA Chief Executive added that the recognition by the highly respected PGCB is integral to the expansion plans of eCOGRA in the US, and this achievement is a significant step forward. We express our gratitude to the PGCB, and our loyal and competent staff.
“We remain committed to expanding our service offering to other States and jurisdictions that are important to our clients. Earlier this year, eCOGRA also secured a license in Colorado, adding to our growing list of jurisdictional approvals.” he said.
NJ Attorney General Platkin Announces the Retirement of Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin announced the retirement of David L. Rebuck after serving 13 years as the Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), making him the longest-serving director in DGE’s history. In total, Director Rebuck is retiring with 36 years of service to the State.
Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said: “Throughout his career, David Rebuck has exemplified professionalism, innovation, and leadership as the gaming industry transformed, first with the legalization of Internet gaming in 2013 and then with the new era of sports gaming in 2018. His extensive knowledge of the gaming and casino industry has made New Jersey a recognized regulatory leader and pacesetter in the United States. With Dave’s departure, however, I am pleased to announce that Deputy Director Mary Jo Flaherty will assume the role of Interim Director. Mary Jo is a respected and talented lawyer, and brings with her over 40 years of experience of regulating the gaming industry within DGE. I am grateful for her stepping up to lead the Division at this critical time.”
Director Rebuck said: “I have always said the achievements at DGE have not been the result of any one person. I have been privileged and grateful to work with an amazing team at DGE and to serve under two governors and eight attorneys general.”
Rebuck’s career with the Department began as a Deputy Attorney General in January 1988. He provided legal advice in the review of programs and operations within LPS, assisted in the evaluation of the performance of agencies within the Department, and reviewed legislation.
In February 2010, he was assigned to the Governor’s Office as a Senior Policy Advisor. While at the Governor’s Office, Director Rebuck assisted in the Governor’s initiative to reinvigorate Atlantic City and was a member of the “Red Tape Review Group”. Director Rebuck was nominated by Governor Chris Christie to lead DGE on April 29, 2011, and assumed the role of Acting Director on that date. Rebuck was confirmed by the State Senate and sworn in as DGE Director on January 24, 2012.
Rebuck’s tenure at DGE began shortly after P.L. 2011, c. 19 which effectuated the most significant overhaul the Casino Control Act had experienced in its history as of that date. The legislation brought with it sweeping changes, including the assignment to DGE of many responsibilities previously performed by the Casino Control Commission. Under Director Rebuck’s leadership, DGE re-examined the entire set of existing casino regulations to ensure consistency and efficiency. A complete new set of regulations was adopted in December 2011.
Director Rebuck led DGE through additional innovative changes to the gambling industry in New Jersey; in 2013, the State became the first in the country to launch legalized Internet casino gambling, and in 2018, after a protracted legal battle led by New Jersey, commenced legal sports wagering. In addition to overseeing the launch of new forms of gaming, Director Rebuck oversaw the launch of DGE’s Responsible Gambling Initiative last year and implemented enhanced advertising standards for New Jersey’s casino and sports betting industry. He also spearheaded new initiatives to improve casino security and safety in the Tourism District in Atlantic City.
To mark his contributions at DGE, Director Rebuck will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual East Coast Gaming Congress (ECGC), becoming only the fifth person in ECGC’s history to receive such recognition. The award will be presented on April 18, 2024 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.
DGE Deputy Director Flaherty’s service as Interim Director is effective Friday, March 1, 2024. Flaherty began her career with DGE in 1979 and holds a J.D. from the Seton Hall Law School. As Deputy Director, she is responsible for overseeing casino licensing, financial analysis and reporting, employee licensing, public records requests, equal employment opportunity within the industry and DGE, ethics compliance, and the release of information to law enforcement agencies and gaming authorities.
Scientific Games Testifies at Maryland House Ways and Means Hearing in Support of Proposed iLottery Legislation
The Public Policy and Government Affairs Senior Vice-President for Scientific Games, Christine Wechsler, testified today before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee to share the company’s support of House Bill 1218, State Lottery – Internet Sales Authorization and Distribution of Proceeds. If adopted, the legislation would authorize the Maryland Lottery to offer its games to in-state consumers through online sales channels.
Wechsler discussed the importance of remaining competitive and modernizing at the same pace as other gaming products offered in the market in order to maintain and grow the Maryland Lottery’s more than $714 million in profits returned annually.
“The Maryland Lottery is like all other businesses selling products to consumers; it must modernize to meet changing consumer demand,” Wechsler said in a prepared testimony. “Providing convenient and relevant experiences to consumers online and at retail will be critical to enable the Maryland Lottery’s sustainability and maximize revenue potential for the state.”
Wechsler also shared key iLottery facts with the Committee as it considers this legislation, which included:
- iLottery doesn’t cannibalize bricks-and-mortar retail sales. Of the twelve United States lotteries selling online today, none have experienced cannibalization at retail. Retail sales have grown faster in iLottery jurisdictions than in states that do not sell online.
- Online sales platforms provide player protections and tools that support healthy, responsible lottery play. Key platform features can include the ability to self-exclude, engage in cooling-off periods and/or set limits on deposit and play amounts.
- iLottery is a new, convenient sales channel to offer lottery products; it is not designed to be a substitute for or compete with casino games. iLottery has proven in other states to successfully co-exist with iCasino, sports betting and other forms of gaming.
As a 27-year partner to the Maryland Lottery, Scientific Games provides the systems technology, terminals and communications infrastructure supporting sales of its lottery games at retail. The company also provides the Maryland Lottery with other key products and services including printed instant games and inventory management software as well as manages the entire interactive category which includes the My Lottery Rewards loyalty program, associated mobile app and second-chance promotions.
“Our focus has always been on delivering solutions and services to facilitate retail growth and maximize profit returned to Maryland’s beneficiaries,” Wechsler said. “And we are invested and fully committed to helping shape a successful iLottery framework for the state that responsibly drives continued growth across the Maryland Lottery’s established bricks-and-mortar retailer network while providing incremental online revenue.
Scientific Games is the global leader in retail instant games, a major provider of retail systems and technology and an industry pioneer in iLottery and digital lottery solutions that drive profits for government-sponsored lottery programs. The company is a trusted partner to more than 130 lotteries spanning 50 countries including over 30 iLottery customers.
The Edge Interviews Steve Bittenbender: Discusses Sports Betting in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri
Half of all SEC states do not have legal sports betting. On The Edge with Larry Henry, Gambling.com Group’s Steve Bittenbender predicts sports betting legislation could be approved during this year’s legislative sessions in Alabama and Georgia in part because of ‘more acceptance among some conservative’ lawmakers.
Sports betting then would require a public vote in Alabama and possibly Georgia. Bittenbender said those two states stand a good chance of legalizing sports betting. “Those are the two, I think, I’m most bullish on,” Bittenbender said of Alabama and Georgia.
In Missouri, ‘rancor’ in the state Senate means a sports betting bill probably won’t pass, Bittenbender said, but the state’s major sports leagues are circulating a petition among registered voters to let the public decide on the November ballot.
The pro sports teams aren’t waiting for the Legislature, Bittenbender said.
“They’ve been down that road before and they’ve seen how that story ends up,” he said. “The best chance that it’ll have is through this referendum process.”
On Alabama and Georgia:
“In Georgia, it passed the Senate and it’s now going over to the House. And in Alabama, it’s the other way around. It cleared the House first and now it’s going to the Senate. The Senate in Alabama; there’s going to be some opposition to it (sports betting legislation), some conservative opposition.
“But you’ve got Governor Ivey who’s a big supporter of this and I think that’s going to help tip the scales in gaming’s favor.
“And it’s not just sports betting in Alabama, it would give them a lottery. They’re one of five states that don’t have a state lottery so it would give them that. It would give them fully-fledged casinos. There’s a couple of tribal casinos in the state but now they would have, I think, seven Class 3 casinos across the state. And then you would also have sports betting as well.
“That kind of omnibus legislation, especially with the people that are supporting it, will help get that through in Alabama.
“Georgia is a similar situation but they’ve actually scaled it down. There had been talks in recent years about doing casino resort legislation but they’re just focused right now on doing sports betting, getting that through and maybe looking at other expanded gaming later on down the road.
“In Georgia the question is going to be whether or not it will need a constitutional amendment. There are proponents for it that cite a former Supreme Court judge from the state, who says: sports betting is a lottery game, the lottery is legal under the constitution, so you don’t need an amendment.
“Some people though are kind of concerned, they fear a legal challenge might happen. So, they want to see a referendum on it.
“If it requires a referendum, that would require essentially two votes in the legislature. One to pass the enacting legislation, which would need just a simple majority in both chambers. But a second one for a resolution calling for the referendum, that would require a two thirds majority in both chambers. That’s a little trickier.
“The way the vote came down in the Senate earlier this month, they had the votes for the two thirds majority in Georgia in the Senate, but I don’t know if they would have that in the House and that’s a key concern that needs to be addressed.”
“I think it’s happening already (the sports betting petitions having success). The proponents have already started in St Louis, right around the time of the Cardinals FanFest event earlier this month.
“So, they’re not waiting for the legislature, they’ve been down that road before and they’ve seen how that story ends up. And with the way that there’s a lot of rancor right now in the Missouri Senate, not just about sports betting but a lot of things in between, there’s a real fracture between Republicans in that chamber and that’s stalling a lot of things.
“I’m not optimistic at all that a sports betting bill would pass the legislature even though there’s support for it in Jefferson City. The best chance that it’ll have is through this referendum process.”
Source: Gambling dot com
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