The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has announced it will authorize Atlantic City casinos to offer daily fantasy sports tournaments. The DGE will officially announce the pilot program on Monday, with the specific regulations to be published April 15 and the actual wagering getting underway April 22.
Players will be able to choose between contests offered directly by the casinos themselves or in conjunction with existing daily/yearly fantasy sports outfits. Joe Brennan Jr., president of the Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association (iMEGA), told the Associated Press that players would deposit money with the casinos then build their own team of individually selected players to do battle with other fantasy general managers. As befitting the prevailing impatience of modern society, “you won’t have to wait till the end of the year to see who wins. You would just wait till the end of the day to see who wins the prize.”
While winners would reportedly be paid out via the casino cash cages, it’s unclear whether casinos would offer the option to play online. There are already numerous fantasy sports outfits operating online in the US, as fantasy sports received a carveout from the draconian limitations of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
The announcement comes in the same week that New Jersey declared its intention to appeal the recent District Court ruling preventing casinos from offering legal single-game sports betting. While the DGE’s move is a poor substitute for the far more lucrative haul that would have come from single-game wagering, any new revenue stream is a welcome addition, according to Casino Association of New Jersey president Tony Rodio.