Jessica Feil, senior director, government relations at the American Gaming Association (AGA), believes the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) is at the forefront of helping gamblers distinguish between legal and illegal sportsbooks.
Up and down the US, offshore sports betting operators are still taking a large share of the overall market, a fact unhelped by mainstream media’s regular citations of illegal sportsbook odds and promotions.
But the New Jersey regulator has been central to helping address this issue, according to the AGA exec, educating not only consumers but additionally the media and affiliates.
Feil tells Gambling Insider: «The thing New Jersey’s regulators in particular are really doing well is helping educate the public about the importance of only using legal, regulated sportsbooks. They’ve been at the forefront of educating consumers but also the media.
«A lot of mainstream media will often cite offshore, illegal sportsbooks. There are dozens and dozens now of legal books they should be referring to; taking this easy way out and using illegal books is confusing and detrimental to consumers.
«So New Jersey has really been at the forefront of both educating the media about the importance of this and also regulating the affiliate marketers, and other systems our industry uses, to ensure only good actors are in that space to attract customers.»
According to the AGA’s research, seven in 10 sports bettors have the desire to wager with a regulated sportsbook. A problem the AGA has discussed at length, however, is consumers struggling to identify exactly which sportsbooks are legal.
«Ensuring we have those good actors ensures other things like responsible gaming standards and game integrity standards are upheld,» Feil explains. «So they’re able to show why legal, regulated sportsbooks should be the focus versus taking the easy way out of going to an offshore book.
«Our research shows the majority of consumers want to use a legal, regulated sportsbook – seven in 10 say it’s a priority for them.
«But they struggle to identify them sometimes and the DGE has been really good at learning from us and learning from consumers, about how to educate the public and make it easy for them to find the legal options they want.»
Further analysis from Feil will feature in the cover feature of the upcoming January/February edition of Gaming America magazine.
She will join the likes of Ocean Casino Resort CEO Terry Glebocki as part of an in-depth Atlantic City focus.