Deputy Director takes interim charge

David Rebuck retires after 13-year stint as director of New Jersey's gaming regulator

Reading time 2:49 min

David Rebuck has bid farewell to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) after 13 years at its helm, marking the end of an era in the state's regulatory landscape. Rebuck's departure, effective immediately, concludes a distinguished tenure as the longest-serving Director in DGE's history. In total, his career spans over 36 years of service to the Garden State.

Effective March 1, Deputy Director Mary Jo Flaherty assumes the interim directorship, stepping into Rebuck's shoes to guide the division through its transitional phase. 

Rebuck's journey with the DGE commenced in January 1988, when he assumed the role of Deputy Attorney General, offering legal counsel and legislative insight. In February 2010, he was assigned to the Governor’s Office as a Senior Policy Advisor. While at the Governor’s Office, Director Rebuck assisted in the Governor’s initiative to reinvigorate Atlantic City and was a member of the “Red Tape Review Group.” 

Director Rebuck was nominated by Governor Chris Christie to lead DGE on April 29, 2011, and assumed the role of Acting Director on that date. Rebuck was confirmed by the State Senate and sworn in as DGE Director on January 24, 2012.

During Rebuck's tenure, the DGE underwent significant regulatory transformations, notably the comprehensive overhaul of the New Jersey Casino Control Act. This legislative milestone, enacted in December 2011, delegated several responsibilities previously held by the Casino Control Commission to the DGE, under Rebuck's guidance.

Director Rebuck led DGE through additional changes to the gambling industry in New Jersey; in 2013, the State became the first in the country to launch legalized Internet casino gambling, and in 2018, after a protracted legal battle led by New Jersey, commenced legal sports wagering

In addition to overseeing the launch of new forms of gaming, Director Rebuck oversaw the launch of DGE’s Responsible Gambling Initiative last year and implemented enhanced advertising standards for New Jersey’s casino and sports betting industry. He also spearheaded new initiatives to improve casino security and safety in the Tourism District in Atlantic City.

Announcing Rebuck's retirement, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said: "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. His extensive knowledge of the gaming and casino industry has made New Jersey a recognized regulatory leader and pacesetter in the United States." 

Director Rebuck said: "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."

The impact of these regulatory advancements have reverberated throughout the state's gaming landscape. In 2023, total gaming revenue reached an all-time high of $5.78 billion, inclusive of revenue generated through brick-and-mortar casino gaming, Internet gaming, and sports wagering. 

Internet gaming win was $1.92 billion in 2023, which broke the record of $1.66 billion which had been set the prior year. In 2023, sports wagering total handle, including futures wagers, was $11.97 billion, and gross revenue from sports wagering exceeded $1 billion for the first time in New Jersey history.

To mark his contributions at DGE, Director Rebuck will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual East Coast Gaming Congress (ECGC), becoming only the fifth person in ECGC’s history to receive such recognition. The award will be presented on April 18, 2024 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

"With Dave’s departure, however, 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 in regulating the gaming industry within DGE. I am grateful for her stepping up to lead the Division at this critical time," the Attorney General said.

Flaherty began her career with DGE in 1979 and holds a J.D. from the Seton Hall Law School. 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.

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