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New Jersey Gaming Director Retires After 13 Years, Honored For Achievements

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on March 4, 2024
Business Man Reaches Career Goal Checkered Flag

The longest-serving director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) will be stepping down.

According to a news release from Attorney General Matthew Platkin, David L. Rebuck, 71, is retiring after serving 13 years as the director of the DGE. Rebuck has worked for the state for 36 years.

Rebuck oversaw the development of New Jersey’s online casinos and sports betting industries and advised numerous states on setting up and regulating their gambling operations.

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said:

“Throughout his career, David Rebuck has exemplified professionalism, innovation, and leadership as the gaming industry transformed, first with the legalization of Internet gaming in 2013 and then with the new era of sports gaming in 2018.

His extensive knowledge of the gaming and casino industry has made New Jersey a recognized regulatory leader and pacesetter in the United States.”

Rebuck helped launch NJ online gambling influencing US gambling industry

Rebuck retired from his position on March 1.

Rebuck has overseen transformation and growth in the state’s legal gaming industry during his term. Among many notable revenue milestones in recent years, Rebuck supervised:

  • Legalization of New Jersey online casinos in 2013, the first state to launch the activity
  • Launching legal sports betting in 2018
  • The start of DGE’s Responsible Gaming Initiative in 2023
  • Implementation of enhanced advertising standards for NJ online casino and sports betting industry
  • Spearheading new initiatives to improve casino security and safety in the Tourism District in Atlantic City

Commenting on the retirement, Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism (LIGHT), Stockton University School of Business, stated:

“Director Rebuck is a man of great character who has ably led the DGE through important milestones in the past thirteen years. His integrity and investment in innovation contributed to the successful launch of both internet gaming and sports betting in the state – new gaming products that are changing the industry and keeping New Jersey at the top of the national market.

Rebuck has always been generous with his time and expertise serving on numerous panels and public forums and sharing his knowledge with other gaming jurisdictions as they look to New Jersey for the highest standards in gaming regulation. The longest running gaming conference in the nation, the East Coast Gaming Congress, is honoring Director Rebuck with a lifetime achievement award this year – it could not be more deserved.”

To mark his contributions at DGE and his career, Rebuck will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual East Coast Gaming Congress (ECGC) on April 18 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. He will become the fifth person to receive such recognition.

Rebuck said in the news release issued by the Office of the Attorney General:

“I have always said the achievements at DGE have not been the result of any one person. I have been privileged and grateful to work with an amazing team at DGE and to serve under two governors and eight attorneys general.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie appointed Rebuck in 2011 when Atlantic City casinos faced competitive economic pressures from casinos in neighboring states.

Deputy director Mary Jo Flaherty to assume the role of interim director

Deputy director Mary Jo Flaherty will take the role of interim director, effective March 1. Flaherty will oversee:

  • Casino licensing
  • Financial analysis and reporting
  • Employee licensing
  • Public records requests
  • Equal employment opportunity within the industry and DGE
  • Ethics compliance
  • The release of information to law enforcement agencies and gaming authorities

Flaherty began her career with DGE in 1979.

Rebuck was the driving force for much of New Jersey’s online casino revenue

New Jersey led the US online gambling scene for 10 years until Michigan exceeded it slightly last year in terms of the number of total bets.

In January, NJ casinos and racetracks collected $559.1 million in revenue across retail and online verticals. That number was a 7.07% monthly progress and a 28% annual increase.

After having a prosperous December and a successful end of the year, New Jersey online casinos made $183.3 million in January, reporting a 1.65% monthly and almost 20% yearly increase.

January’s sports betting figure showed a 56.05% progress from December and an impressive 136.1% rise from $72.3 million reported at the same time last year.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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