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David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE), has retired from his position with immediate effect.

Following 13 years as the regulator’s director and a total tenure of 36 years with the state of New Jersey, Rebuck leaves the role as the longest-serving director in the history of the NJDGE.

He joined New Jersey’s Department of Law and Public Safety in 1988 as a deputy attorney general, where he provided legal advice, assisted in the evaluation of the performance of agencies within the department, and reviewed legislation.

In 2010, Rebuck was assigned to the New Jersey Governor’s office as a senior policy adviser, in which role he assisted in an initiative to reinvigorate Atlantic City.

He was then nominated by Governor Chris Christie to lead the Division of Gaming Enforcement in 2011, assuming the role of acting director before being sworn in as director on a permanent basis in 2012.

A new industry for New Jersey

Rebuck assumed the role of director shortly after a change in New Jersey’s law saw a significant overhaul of its existing Casino Control Act legislation.

Those changes saw a number of new responsibilities transferred from the Casino Control Commission to the NJDGE, where Rebuck was instrumental in drawing up a new set of regulations that was adopted by the state in December 2011.

Those legal changes paved the way for New Jersey to become the first state to launch legalised online casino gambling in 2013, followed by the launch of regulated sports betting in 2018.

In addition to overseeing the launch of those two new modes of gambling in the state, Rebuck also oversaw the launch of New Jersey’s Responsible Gambling Initiative last year, as well as introducing enhanced advertising standards for the state’s casino and sports betting sectors.

What next for the NJDGE?

As of today (1 March), NJDGE deputy director Mary Jo Flaherty is acting in the role of interim director of the regulator.

“Mary Jo is a respected and talented lawyer, and brings with her over 40 years of experience of regulating the gaming industry within DGE,” said New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin. 

“I am grateful for her stepping up to lead the division at this critical time.”

Flaherty began her career with the regulator in 1979.

In her role as deputy director, she is responsible for overseeing casino licensing, financial analysis and reporting, employee licensing, public records requests, equal employment opportunity within the industry and DGE, ethics compliance, and the release of information to law enforcement agencies and gaming authorities.

As interim director, she will be responsible for overseeing the regulator as it controls one of the largest gambling markets in North America.

In 2023, total gambling revenue in New Jersey reached $5.78bn, of which $1.92bn was generated online.

What next for Rebuck?

“Throughout his career, David Rebuck has exemplified professionalism, innovation, and leadership as the gaming industry transformed, first with the legalisation of Internet gaming in 2013 and then with the new era of sports gaming in 2018,” said Attorney General Platkin in a statement.

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

Rebuck added: “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.”

To mark his contributions to the NJDGE and the sector in general, Rebuck will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City this April.

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