David Rebuck, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director, Retires After 13 Years

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David Rebuck, the 13-year head of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), retired on Thursday, effective immediately.

He exits as the longest-serving DGE director in its 47-year history, having been in the role since 2011. In total, he gave the state 36 years of regulatory service, including as a senior policy adviser to the New Jersey Governor’s Office.

Rebuck’s time as head of the gambling regulator included being at the forefront of some of the biggest changes in U.S. gambling history.

In 2013, New Jersey online casinos opened as the second legal state market in the country, after Delaware.

Five years later, New Jersey, under Governors Chris Christie and then Phil Murphy, was the figurehead state in pushing to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

Its eventual repeal in 2018 opened the floodgates for U.S. sports betting, including in 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 Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin in a press release.

Stellar Career

Rebuck is in line for an award to recognize his influential role in the history of the U.S. gambling business. He will be presented with a lifetime achievement award at the 27th Annual East Coast Gaming Conference on April 18, to be held at Hard Rock Atlantic City.

His government career began when he became a Deputy Attorney General in 1988.

In February 2010, he transferred to the Governor’s Office under Chris Christie, where he was a senior policy adviser.

Within a year, Rebuck’s talents had been recognized, and Christie offered him the acting director position at the DGE.

In 2012, he took up the role full-time, where has been until his retirement this week.

During his tenure, his office oversaw the launch of legal New Jersey sports betting and online casinos. Both markets were just the second in the country to open.

Many states that have legalized online gambling in either form have since looked to New Jersey as a proven success model to follow.

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

Moving into the Future

Platkin also took the opportunity to announce the interim successor to Rebuck as DGE head.

Mary Jo Flaherty has assumed the interim role, effective today, March 1, 2024.

“I am pleased to announce that Deputy Director Mary Jo Flaherty will assume the role of Interim Director. Mary Jo is a respected and talented lawyer, and brings with her over 40 years of experience of regulating the gaming industry within DGE,” Platkin said.

The New Jersey gambling market saw significant growth in 2023, and January 2024 also reached record revenue highs.

The nine physical New Jersey casinos in Atlantic City lead the way in overall numbers. But online casinos and sportsbooks are closing the gap fast with strong growth.  

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