New Jersey gaming regulators offer invite to skill-based game developers

new-jersey-david-rebuck-candy-crushNew Jersey gaming regulators have rolled out the red carpet for developers of skill-based games in the hopes their products can make inroads into the state’s real-money gambling market. On Tuesday, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announced it was “eager” to receive submissions from developers of “social and skill-based gaming options such as Candy Crush and Words With Friends,” in the hopes that they would “find ways to incorporate this type of play into the casino wagering environment.”

The DGE notes the “broad-based appeal” of combining skill-based and social elements into a casino product. The DGE believes this expanded gaming palette would “bring more customers to a casino’s slot floor or to their internet website.” Social gamers’ familiarity with these products makes it more likely that they would be “willing to try them out for real money casino gaming.”

The DGE’s invitation is part of the state’s ‘New Jersey First’ program, which promises developers priority screening if they submit their products to the state’s regulators “prior to or simultaneously with any other jurisdiction or resting lab.” The DGE vows that – assuming the gaming product in question clears the technical hurdles – these games could be taking wagers on a casino floor within 14 days of submission. DGE director David Rebuck (pictured) encouraged developers to beat a path to his door, noting his outfit’s “fastest time to market for electronic gaming equipment anywhere in the country.”

It should be noted that previous experiments at converting social casino gamers into real-money gamblers haven’t exactly set the world on fire, at least in the online world. Whether brick-and-mortar casinos would fare any better at monetizing non-casino social games remains to be seen. If nothing else, it underscores the DGE’s determination to leave no stone unturned in their effort to gussy up the offering of the state’s struggling casino operators.