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There was a recent bill introduced in New Jersey legislation dealing with dormant online casino accounts. The bill would give players protection in getting their funds if their casino account was dormant for an extended time period.
The bill in question was introduced to the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee on January 14 of this year.
As the law is now in the Garden State, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has the task of coming up with the time limit where players’ accounts would be deemed dormant or inactive. According to the gaming regulations for the state, the online operator can make the claim that an account is dormant if it has not been active for at least one year. That is the exact same time amount that the gambling industry in Pennsylvania has to deeming accounts dormant.
Online casinos have some leeway in terms of what is an inactive account in their terms and conditions, which can be read on all New Jersey casino websites.
Bill 567 would extend the period of inactivity to three years before an account can be deemed dormant. On top of that, any money in a dormant casino account would come under the Unclaimed Property Act.
In the law as it is now, the money that is in the inactive casino accounts for the time period set by the DGE is split. Half would go to the New Jersey Casino Control Fund and half would go to the licensee of the casino where the account is. There are already frameworks in place where the online casinos have to try to get in touch with the holder of the inactive account before closing the account and the money is split between the two aforementioned parties.
According to the website for the New Jersey Unclaimed Property Administration (UPA), the new bill would ensure funds are available indefinitely after an account is close. The website states, “The UPA only acts as a custodian until the property is returned.”
The new bill would be similar to the laws for dormant online casino accounts in Pennsylvania. PA gaming regulations stipulate the online casinos have to report money that is abandoned and unclaimed. This is law set by the Treasury Bureau of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property of the state.
The new bill for New Jersey would set in place a rule for the protection for the player that would bring Pennsylvania and New Jersey in congruence on the issue. Bill AB 567 is not the first try for New Jersey, as there was a 2018 bill introduced to legislature that did not go anywhere.
In 2019 online casinos in New Jersey took in $482.6 million in winning wagers. At the current time no data is available on funds that the New Jersey casinos and the state received because of accounts that were dormant and closed.