‘Godfather’ Of Online Gambling, Rebuck Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Written By David Danzis on October 26, 2023 - Last Updated on May 9, 2024
David Rebuck, director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement, has spearheaded the boom of legal online gambling in New Jersey and at Atlantic City casinos

On the list of people who deserve credit for the success of online gambling in New Jersey as it approaches a major milestone, few are more deserving than David Rebuck.

The longtime director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement has done more for the acceptance, growth and viability of legal online gambling in NJ — not just in New Jersey but across the country — than nearly any other individual in the industry.

That is not an opinion. It is an indisputable fact.

In recognition of this fact, Rebuck will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th annual East Coast Gaming Congress this spring in Atlantic City. The country’s second-largest and longest-running gambling industry conference will be held on April 17-18 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

Rare lifetime achievement award goes to David Rebuck

Rebuck will be only the fifth person to receive a lifetime award at ECGC.

Michael Pollock, co-founder of ECGC and a senior policy advisor for Spectrum Gaming Group, noted that Rebuck’s time with the DGE, which began in 2011, “coincided with an explosion of new technologies that presented enormous opportunities for the gaming industry as well as great challenges for regulators.

“He addressed each and every challenge, from igaming to sports betting and beyond while maintaining New Jersey’s unyielding focus on gaming integrity.”

Rebuck has been affectionately referred to as the “Godfather” of online betting in the US, and his regulatory agency is widely regarded as the “gold standard,” of the gambling industry.

Lloyd Levenson, ECGC co-founder and chairman and CEO of the Cooper Levenson law firm in Atlantic City, said in a statement:

“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.”

Rebuck’s résumé checks out with boom of NJ online gambling

As head of the DGE, Rebuck oversaw the launch of NJ online casinos in November 2013 and legal NJ sports betting in June 2018. The DGE also played a pivotal regulatory role in the introduction of two new Atlantic City casinos in 2018: Hard Rock and Ocean Casino Resort.

Since November 2013, NJ has generated more than $6.9 billion in online casino revenue, resulting in $1.02 billion in state taxes. Legal sports betting in NJ has attracted over $41.5 billion in wagers since 2018, while producing more than $426.8 million in taxes for the state.

Hard Rock and Ocean both opened on the same day: June 27, 2018. It is believed to be the first time that two major US casino resorts opened in the same jurisdiction on the same day. Today, Hard Rock and Ocean are, respectively, the second– and third-highest-grossing casinos in Atlantic City.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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