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Innovative Courts for Problem Gamblers: NJ and WA Set Legislative Precedent



A Judicial Revolution: NJ and WA Pave the Way for Gambling Treatment Courts

In a groundbreaking move, legislators in New Jersey and Washington are spearheading efforts to establish diversion courts specifically for individuals convicted of financial crimes linked to problem gambling. These proposed legal reforms aim to shift the focus from incarceration to rehabilitation, potentially transforming the justice system’s approach to gambling-related offenses.

New Jersey and Washington’s Legal Innovations

Following the example set by Ohio, Nevada, and New York, New Jersey and Washington are poised to introduce legislation that redirects problem gamblers from traditional courts to specialized treatment programs. These diversion courts are designed to provide mandatory, court-monitored treatment, addressing the underlying issues of gambling addiction.

Legislation Sponsors and Motivations

In New Jersey, Senator Nicholas P. Scutari champions bill S2272, while Representative Chris Stearns leads Washington’s HB2055. Stearns underscores the dual benefits of this approach: preventing recidivism for non-violent offenders and realizing fiscal savings for the state.

Fiscal Implications and State Budgets

Highlighting the financial burden of incarceration, New Jersey estimates an annual cost of $66,000 per incarcerated individual. Alex Weldon of suggests that implementing diversion courts could save millions by reducing the number of people in the state’s prison system, thereby alleviating budgetary pressures.


Projected Impact and Cost Savings

Judge Cheryl Moss, who managed Nevada’s diversion court until 2020, predicts significant savings for New Jersey. By diverting 50 individuals annually from incarceration, the state could realize substantial long-term fiscal benefits.

Legislative Progress and Prospects

The fate of these transformative bills remains uncertain. Washington’s HB2055 is scheduled for discussion in the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary, while New Jersey’s S2272 awaits a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The outcome of these sessions will determine the potential for legal reform in both states.


The introduction of bills in New Jersey and Washington to create diversion courts for problem gamblers represents a significant shift in legal perspectives. By focusing on treatment rather than punishment, these states could set a new standard in addressing gambling-related offenses, offering a compassionate and cost-effective alternative to traditional incarceration. This legislative initiative could mark the beginning of a more humane and economically sensible approach to problem gambling across the United States.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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Maryland Bill Seeks to Ban Online Gambling on College Campuses



Maryland Bill Aims to Prohibit College Campus Gambling

As a seasoned gambling professional, staying abreast of legislative developments is paramount to understanding the evolving regulatory landscape. Maryland has recently garnered attention with the introduction of House Bill 1087, signalling a bold move to curtail online gambling activities on college campuses within the state. In this in-depth analysis, we delve into the intricacies of the proposed legislation, exploring its objectives, potential implications, and the broader implications for the gambling industry.

House Bill 1087, introduced in Maryland, seeks to prohibit online gambling on college campuses, underscoring concerns about the proliferation of gambling activities among students. The bill mandates the establishment of virtual perimeters, known as “geofences,” around college campuses to block access to online sportsbooks via cell phones. This proactive measure aims to mitigate the negative impact of gambling on campus communities and safeguard student welfare.

Under HB 1087, four-year public institutions, Baltimore City Community College, and local community colleges in Maryland are tasked with contracting geolocation service companies partnered with licensed sports betting operators. These institutions must implement the virtual perimeters by August 1, 2024, ensuring strict enforcement of the proposed ban on campus gambling. While the bill anticipates increased expenses for colleges, it asserts no revenue impact, emphasizing its primary objective of promoting a safe and responsible campus environment.

Despite the bill’s noble intentions, concerns have emerged regarding the practicality of enforcing geofences on college campuses. Towson University, a prominent public university in Maryland, has voiced apprehensions about the feasibility of implementing geolocation restrictions effectively. Challenges such as geolocation accuracy, mobile device settings, ethical considerations, and private network usage pose significant obstacles to enforcement, raising questions about the efficacy of the proposed legislation.


Maryland’s foray into sports betting in November 2022 marked a significant milestone in the state’s gambling landscape, with ten operators, including industry giants like FanDuel and ESPN Bet, entering the market. However, the introduction of HB 1087 underscores a shift in regulatory focus towards addressing emerging concerns surrounding gambling accessibility and its potential impact on vulnerable populations, particularly college students.

As the debate surrounding House Bill 1087 unfolds, it prompts crucial discussions about the intersection of gambling, education, and regulatory oversight. While advocates argue for stringent measures to combat problem gambling and protect student well-being, critics raise valid concerns about the practicality and effectiveness of geofencing solutions. Ultimately, Maryland’s legislative initiative serves as a microcosm of broader efforts to strike a balance between consumer protection and industry growth in the ever-evolving landscape of online gambling regulation.

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