New Jersey AG Platkin Headlines Upcoming East Coast Gaming Congress

Erik Gibbs

New Jersey AG Matthew Platkin

New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin is set to be the keynote speaker at the annual East Coast Gaming Congress (ECGC), scheduled to take place on April 17-18, at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

This event, the longest-running gaming conference in the U.S. and the largest outside of Nevada, is organized by Spectrum Gaming Group, law firm Cooper Levenson, Evolution, and others.

The conference is expected to draw a diverse group of attendees, including industry CEOs, gaming professionals, and regulators. It will cover critical issues within the gaming sector, offering a platform for networking and sharing insights on the future of gaming. The ECGC will feature keynote addresses, panel discussions, and presentations from global leaders in all aspects of gaming.

Shaping the gaming industry

AG Platkin, who was appointed by Gov. Phil Murphy and confirmed with bipartisan support by the New Jersey Senate, has been a pivotal figure in New Jersey’s gambling ecosystem. Most recently, in recognition of Problem Gambling Awareness Month in March, he initiated a public awareness campaign aimed at addressing the challenges of problem gambling.

“Gaming is critical to the future of New Jersey, and New Jersey is critical to the future of gaming. The insights to be offered by Attorney General Platkin into this state’s gaming policy will impact the global gaming industry.”

Lloyd D. Levenson, CEO of the Cooper Levenson law firm and an ECGC co-founder

The campaign focuses on promoting self-awareness of gambling habits and the availability of tools and resources for responsible gambling. It underscores the importance of prevention, treatment, and recovery services, highlighting the state’s commitment to supporting individuals affected by gambling-related issues.

The ECGC will also honor David L. Rebuck, the retiring director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Rebuck will be recognized for his innovation and leadership. He has served in the position for 13 years and has had a major role in New Jersey’s transformative periods, such as the legalization of internet gaming in 2013 and sports gaming in 2018.

PILOT scheme’s future still unclear

One topic that could come up during the ECGC is New Jersey’s contested payment-in-lieu-of-tax (PILOT) structure for casinos. The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division is set to make a pivotal decision on the scheme in a case that has significant implications.

The dispute centers on whether Atlantic City’s nine casinos should be taxed on online revenue, particularly when shared with third-party operators like DraftKings and FanDuel, which lack a substantial physical presence in Atlantic City.

The 2021 amendment to the PILOT rules by state lawmakers, which Atlantic County subsequently challenged, has led to a legal tug-of-war, with the county initially prevailing in 2022. This decision could reshape the financial landscape for Atlantic City’s land-based casinos and set a precedent for the taxation of online gaming revenue.

It’s not the only debate that addresses gambling taxation in the state. A legislative proposal, Bill S3064, was introduced by Sen. John McKeon toward the end of March and aims to increase the tax rate on internet casino gaming and internet sports wagering to 30%.

If enacted, this would significantly raise the current tax rate for online gambling operators, which stands at 14.25% for sports betting and 17.5% for casino. The bill is part of the 2024-2025 regular legislative session and reflects ongoing discussions about the regulation and taxation of online gambling activities.