The Long Con: Bill Pascrell talks about the growing US gambling market


Bill Pascrell III is excited by the immense possibilities of the U.S. online gambling market. The lobbyist from the Princeton Public Affairs group sat down with long-time friend Becky Liggero Fontana on the latest episode of The Long Con to talk about the state of play in the growing U.S. online gambling market.

Pascrell was quick to point out that life is slowly returning to normal for the retail sector in North America. “Restaurants are opening and casinos are opening but the online gaming world has been incredibly robust,” he said.

While sports betting related content has been down, online casino and poker content has pushed jurisdictions like New Jersey to the top of the food chain. “New Jersey’s has just become the third-largest jurisdiction in the globe which is quite an accomplishment after only six years,” Pascrell added.

The rise of New Jersey is no surprise to industry veterans like Pascrell. The online gambling industry was one industry that was able to adapt quickly to the changing business conditions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. As Pascrell points out “You have to be nimble and make the best chicken salad, out of chicken shit.”

Pascrell believes that the shift to online gambling for some bricks and mortar casinos has offered some unique partnership opportunities in New Jersey. “Although the casinos were shuttered and the hotels and the restaurants, they were able to realize some revenue through their partnerships with the skin partnerships with casinos,” Pascrell revealed. ”We’re excited because the NFL starts back up and now we have baseball, hockey, basketball and golf all at the same time was and that provides other opportunities.”

While sports betting has experienced explosive growth, Pascrell believes that strong regulations have laid a positive foundation for market opportunities. “We have survived we’re now in our seventh year of online in new jersey without any major scandal or story about anti-money laundering or age verification or geo-locationing,” Pascrell added.

The strict push for responsible online gambling in America has been one of the major reasons behind its successful growth according to Pascrell. “The national blocking lists have all been very extraordinarily successful and now when you’re looking at advertising whether it’s in Pennsylvania or new jersey or Colorado every ad has a responsible gaming piece where you can call up or self-block or put blocking software or bank blocking and I think the biggest challenge we have now is content.”

For any new operator considering entry into the U.S. market, Pascrell believes a New Jersey license is a must-have. “I like to say use new jersey as a trampoline effect to spring into the market,” he said. “If you can get a license in New Jersey which is very hard to get because we have a limited number of skins, we have a very robust regulatory market and they’re not allowing dodgy players who might have had issues with black markets and AML and other issues.”

“Essentially so if you succeed and get a license in Jersey and launch it will be relatively seamless and easy to get a license in any other jurisdiction whether it be Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, North Carolina which is coming online soon,” he added.

The tough regulatory framework has helped make New Jersey one of the hubs for the online gambling business in the U.S. and a license in Jersey can open doors to the rest of the market. “Jersey has high regard all of those jurisdictions throughout the U.S. respect the Jersey licensing process to suitability the investigations and for that matter even parts of the rest of the globe respect New Jersey,” Pascrell said. 

In the full episode, Pascrell advises on what new operators need to address when entering the New Jersey regulatory market. Don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel to see The Long Con each and every Monday.