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David Rebuck, New Jersey’s Top Gaming Regulator, Praised

by California Digital News

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Posted on: March 2, 2024, 01:49h. 

Last updated on: March 2, 2024, 01:49h.

New Jersey’s top gaming regulator called it quits on Friday after nearly 13 years leading the state Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).

New Jersey DGE David Rebuck
New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck speaks at the opening of Ocean Casino Resort on June 28, 2018. Rebuck retired last week after leading the DGE for nearly 13 years. (Image: Press of Atlantic City)

David Rebuck, 71, exits with the honor of being the longest-serving director in DGE history. Rebuck assumed the role in early 2012 and retired with 36 years of service to New Jersey.

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,” said New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

Platkin said Rebuck’s extensive knowledge of the gaming and casino industries led to New Jersey being recognized as a regulatory leader and pacesetter in the US. The attorney general appointed DGE Deputy Director Mary Jo Flaherty as interim director. Flaherty has been with the DGE for over 40 years.

The DGE is a law enforcement agency and the investigative arm of the casino regulatory system in New Jersey that’s responsible for enforcing the state’s Casino Control Act.

Tenure Included Monumental Changes

While Rebuck’s record of leading the DGE for almost 13 years might be broken in the decades ahead, the odds are long that any forthcoming tenure will include such vast changes and challenges at the agency. Rebuck was appointed DGE director by Gov. Chris Christie (R) on April 29, 2011. He was sworn into the role on Jan. 24, 2012.

Less than two years later, the Atlantic Cub Casino Hotel on Jan. 13, 2014, would be the first of five casinos to shutter. The Claridge Casino Hotel followed a month later. By that September, the Showboat, Revel, and Trump Plaza casinos had also closed.

Atlantic City’s remaining casinos then contested their assessed property valuations in an effort to reduce their property tax liabilities. The local city neared bankruptcy, leading to Christie’s administration to a state takeover of the town’s governance.

The casinos subsequently entered into a PILOT program with the state. The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes based on their collective gross gaming revenue helped stabilize the market. Trump Plaza and Revel reopened in June 2018 respectively as Hard Rock and Ocean Casino.

Rebuck’s administration additionally implemented regulatory protocols for the expansion of online casinos, as well as both retail and online sports betting. New Jersey emerged as a gold standard complementing Nevada on best regulatory practices for the US commercial gaming industry.

Don’t look to Rebuck to take credit.

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

Rebuck’s career with the state began in January 1988 when he joined New Jersey Attorney General W. Cary Edwards’ office as a deputy attorney general.

Award Forthcoming

Rebuck will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual East Coast Gaming Congress on April 18. The event is hosted at Hard Rock.

“As a result of his leadership, the gaming industry has grown and so has New Jersey’s reputation as a jurisdiction that knows how to regulate effectively,” said ECGC co-founder Lloyd D. Levenson, who is the chairman and CEO of the Cooper Levenson law firm and namesake of Stockton University’s Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality, and Tourism.

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