Final passage expected for N.J. prize-linked savings

December 17, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. (12/17/15)--New Jersey Credit Union League-supported legislation that would authorize state credit unions and banks to offer savings promotions, also known as prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts, is scheduled for a vote during today’s Assembly session.

The bill is sponsored by sponsored by Assemblymen Herb Conaway (D-Delran), Troy Singleton (D-Mount Laurel), Tim Eustace (D-Parasmus/Bergenfield) and Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge).

The Senate passed its version (S-2495) of the bill sponsored by Sens. Richard Codey (D-Livingstone) and Ronald Rice (D-Newark) May 18.

The legislation is expected to clear the full Assembly and be sent to Gov. Chris Christie for his consideration, the league said (The Daily Exchange Dec. 16).

Intended to provide incentives for depositors to open and maintain savings accounts, the legislation would authorize New Jersey credit unions, banks and savings banks to conduct promotions in which a minimum deposit in an amount predetermined by the institution qualifies for a chance to win prizes.

The bill also clarifies that a savings promotion conducted as a result of the bill's provisions does not constitute unlawful gambling under the laws of the state and is not subject to any laws concerning legalized games of chance presently in statute.

In recent legislative sessions Arkansas, Illinois, Minnesota, Oregon and Virginia have authorized credit unions to sponsor prize-linked savings programs. Other states with prize-linked savings programs are Michigan, Rhode Island, Maine, Washington, North Carolina, Nebraska, Maryland, Connecticut, Indiana and New York.