New Jersey’s gaming regulator, who has advised the country on integrity and oversight issues, is retiring

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – David Rebuck, who oversaw the development of the nation’s leading Internet gambling and sports betting industry in New Jersey and advised more than two dozen states on establishing and regulating their own gambling operations, departed Friday after 13 years as one of its most prominent Players of America retire influential gambling regulators.

Rebuck, 71, resigned as director of the state Division of Gambling Enforcement after leading New Jersey through a turbulent period that saw the closure of some casinos in Atlantic City and the state becoming a leader in emerging forms of gambling, including sports betting, which arose after the state won a case in the US Supreme Court to allow this.

“It’s never boring in this industry,” he said. “There will always be challenges and opportunities. We wanted to be at the forefront of regulating the industry so casinos have a better chance of success while protecting their customers.”

Rebuck was appointed by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in 2011, at a time when Atlantic City casinos were suffering from economic competitive pressures from casinos in neighboring states.

“The marching orders were clear: to implement the law that had just been passed,” he said. “There was a feeling on the casino side that they were overly regulated by rules that had not been updated since the 1970s.”

A streamlined government oversight system helped reduce some of the casinos’ overhead costs. But it wouldn’t be enough to prevent the closure of five of the 12 casinos in less than two years; Two of them have since reopened.

“You thought you were doing everything you could to help them survive in this market, and that didn’t work,” he said. “It was a tough time.”

A year later, in 2013, Rebuck presided over one of New Jersey’s greatest triumphs: the dawn of Internet gambling. New Jersey led the nation in online gambling for 10 years until Michigan surpassed it by a small fraction last year in the amount of money won by players.

When Democrat Phil Murphy succeeded Republican Christie as governor in 2018, he retained Rebuck as chief gaming regulator.

This year, Rebuck led the creation of rules and regulations for New Jersey’s sports betting industry after the state prevailed in its lengthy legal battle to overturn a federal ban in all but four states. This US Supreme Court ruling paved the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they wanted to; This is currently the case in 38 states and Washington DC.

Jane Bokunewicz, director of the Lloyd Levenson Institute at Stockton University, which studies the Atlantic City gambling market, said Rebuck has helped “bring new gambling products to market that are changing the industry and putting New Jersey at the forefront of the national market.” hold”.

Other states considering introducing new gaming operations or modernizing existing gaming operations are also in high demand for his advice and technical expertise. He said he has advised and worked with more than two dozen states in this regard.

“We gave them our actual book and said, ‘This is how we do it, this is how we do it and this is how you can do it,'” he said. “This is a copycat industry; Once people see something that works, they want to do it.”

Mark Giannantonio, president of the Atlantic City Resorts Casino and the Casino Association of New Jersey, called Rebuck “a thoughtful and progressive gambling regulator who has advanced so many aspects of gambling in New Jersey.”

In Internet gaming, “Dave led the team at DGE and built from the ground up the policies and regulations that created an entirely new innovative business for New Jersey in a safe and secure manner,” Giannantonio said. “These regulations have been duplicated across the country.”

Mary Jo Flaherty, deputy director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, will serve as interim director indefinitely.

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