ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — New Jersey gambling regulators and a Canadian Mohawk tribe are cracking down on illegal internet gambling by blocking unapproved sites from accepting bets from New Jersey and other U.S. states through a data center on tribal land.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement reached an agreement Monday with the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission to prevent the sites from being accessed illegally in the U.S. after Sept. 30.
The division says it learned that one of its licensees, Continent 8 LLC, may have provided services to illegal gambling websites through the Canadian data center. The company provides technical services to data centers and serves several New Jersey online gambling providers, division spokeswoman Kerry Langan said.
Continent 8 did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment Monday.
DGE Director David Rebuck said New Jersey regulators have had discussions with the Mohawks and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission that involved “unique jurisdictional issues” before reaching the agreement.
“The Division is pleased to have the KGC’s assistance as a fellow regulator and looks forward to working together in the future,” he said. “We were able to reach a series of agreements that are amenable to all of the parties involved and satisfy the division’s regulatory concerns. The division appreciates the KGC’s commitment and looks forward to its continued cooperation in the fight against unlicensed internet gaming traffic.
“This agreement is an important step in ensuring the integrity of internet gaming operations in New Jersey and helps ensure that online gaming patrons can play on fair, regulated sites,” Rebuck said.
New Jersey regulators have long struggled to prevent illegal or unauthorized internet gambling sites from taking bets from gamblers located within the state’s borders.
Legal internet gambling brought in $160.7 million in 2015 in the three U.S. states that allow it. New Jersey is by far the largest market, at $148 million. Delaware brought in $1.8 million last year, and Nevada, which stopped reporting its internet winnings publicly, is estimated at about $10 million in their poker-only market.
In contrast, unlicensed internet gambling sites are estimated to take in many times those amounts.
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