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New Jersey Looking To License And Regulate Betting On Games Like 'Words With Friends'

Report: State Officials Hoping Companies Will Come To Them


New Jersey’s online gambling industry could get a shot in the arm by seeing popular games such as “Word with Friends” have a real-money gambling component.

The state kicked off real-money web casino gambling in November of last year, and while revenues are being generated in the ballpark of $10 million a month, it hasn’t been quite as lucrative as some had hoped. Also, Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar casino industry has been hit by a rush of closings this year.

The state has also looked at sports betting and casinos elsewhere in the state to help shore up its gambling industry. Now, officials are eyeing another potentially lucrative activity—betting on social games like the ones Zynga currently offers to people on Facebook and mobile devices..

According to the Associated Press:

The state Division of Gaming Enforcement says it is seeking game developers’ proposals to conduct real-money gambling on skill-based games, which would make New Jersey a nationwide laboratory for a betting phenomenon many have predicted will become the next big thing. “More and more we’ve been watching the social gaming arena and hearing about the opportunities it presents,” said David Rebuck, director of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. “We thought, ‘Wait a minute: why aren’t these companies coming to us?’ We are ready, willing and able, under existing law, to deal with this. This is not theoretical anymore; this is real.”

The report said that one expert pegs such an industry at being worth $8 billion to $10 billion, annually. That’s a huge figure, even beating estimates for online casino games.

Games such as Candy Crush, Word with Friends, Farmville and so on typically allow people to play for free, but do provide a full slate of add-ons and other perks for those willing to spend real money to enhance their experience playing the games.



4 years ago

You can actually already play cash games on the scrabble-ish app called Game of Words (by Afternorth). Only on iOS though.


4 years ago

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