Traditional casinos were all the hype in the Garden State in the past. Other states around the country started adapting that business model, which meant several other casinos began popping up elsewhere.

As a result, the industry became saturated, leaving New Jersey on the brink of disaster. This interview explains how the introduction of online gambling allowed the state to avoid total collapse. 

Highlights & Summary

  • In 2013, New Jersey legalized internet gaming.
  • The beginning of an Era: states like New Jersey and Nevada laid the foundations for gambling in the US.
  • What made New Jersey's strategy on its offer so smart?
  • Fear of change, failure, fraud, and underage gambling.
  • The current online gambling situation in NJ is strong, and adopting new techniques and technologies to make it safer for players online. 

Video Interview with David L. Rebuck

A Summary of the Legalization of Internet Gaming and Sports Bettings in NJ

David L. Rebuck says that New Jersey embraced online gambling in 2013 regardless of the potential issues they were facing because it helped protect the state’s gaming industry. 


Traditional casinos in New Jersey started feeling the pressure of the boom in casinos around the country. Rebuck says:

Initially, casino gaming in the state of New Jersey was a boom and so successful, but there was no competition.

With this success of casino gambling in the United States, in Nevada, as well as in New Jersey, and in other states that copied it, all of a sudden, you have this massive explosion of casino gambling, legalized gambling in the United States.

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 with the changes to compete.

David L. Rebuck on the challenges for the state.

The additional competition meant that consumers had more to choose from, making it difficult for casinos to compete. Rebuck highlights the three main problems,

The industry had a very strong argument that it was being restricted in innovation, expansion, and in doing things that it needed to do in order to compete against neighboring states.

David L. Rebuck on the challenges for the casinos.

He went on to explain that there was a need to diversify its offerings to be different from what was being delivered in competitor states. Along with entertainment and other aspects surrounding a casino, gambling needed to be more diverse.

The final point that Rebuck mentions is that

There’s gotta be a commitment from the industry to invest in their property, invest in their employees and to live up to their end of the bargain.

David L. Rebuck on the challenges for the casino industry.

Rebuck goes on to explain that there was a real fear of internet gaming by people who didn’t know how it would be regulated. He said,

There’s a fear of change, there is a fear of failure, there is a fear of fraud, and a fear of under-age people not handling this type of opportunity.

David L. Rebuck on the challenges for the casino industry.

Improvements in Gambling Scenario After Legalization

New Jersey and Nevada were pioneers in the casino gaming industry. For a long while, they were the only states that offered gamblers a place to enjoy their favorite pastime. However, other states started replicating what was being done in New Jersey and Nevada, and suddenly, there was a massive increase in the number of casinos.

Legalized gaming became more prominent across the country, and now, the ordinary bettor had more options than ever before. Instead of being tied down to the Garden State or Nevada, people could visit casinos in other states.

Naturally, that affected the gaming industry in New Jersey, even though bettors were benefiting from the establishment of casinos around the country.

The Future of New Jersey Online Gambling

New Jersey, just like other states, has a uniform commitment to do better and be successful in overseeing the industry. No regulator in the country wants to fall victim to a scandal or a breakdown in operations.

According to Rebuck about New Jersey,

We’re holding ourselves up to be the pinnacle of regulation in this country for retail, sports, and online. And if you put yourself on the pinnacle, you better do everything in your ability to stay there.

David L. Rebuck on the future of NJ online gambling

He says that it’s essential to learn from what’s already happened since 2013 but also to learn from others within the industry, the media, and outsiders who have suggestions that could bolster the gaming industry in the state.


Rebuck mentions that the state has improved its KYC standards since last October. As a result, they’ve made gambling safer for all the relevant stakeholders involved. He touches on cybersecurity and how it’s become a legitimate concern recently. However, Rebuck lists the solutions they’ve implemented to address these issues, “Two-factor authentication, device tracking.”

Take away

Online gambling has certainly saved the gaming industry in the US, especially when you consider the fact that brick-and-mortar casinos were closing down before 2013.

David L. Rebuck, the Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement mentioned in this interview that

The risk was, in our sustainable gaming industry, Atlantic City is going to collapse. If it collapsed, the economic development, the jobs, and the opportunities that were supporting South Jersey would be very detrimental. It happened a little bit, as this growth went on with the internet and sports because we closed four casinos, we closed four of the 11 casinos there.

David L. Rebuck on the challenges the casino industry has faced.

Even though the state faced opposition to legalizing online gambling, it was necessary to rescue jobs and the economy within the state. At the moment, the industry looks solid and is growing by the day. The NJDGE continues to be the pinnacle of regulating online casinos, setting an example for the other seven states where online gambling is now legalized.