Gaming industry eagerly watches New Jerseys online gambling launch

Proponents and opponents of online gambling alike are watching New Jersey as it becomes the most-populated of three U.S. states to allow online gambling starting Nov. 25.
While Nevada and Delaware are already allowing online gambling, New Jersey – with a population of 8.9 million people – is seen as the nation’s biggest test because a federal law limits online betting to people who are actually in the state hosting the online site.

Comparatively, Nevada is home to 2.8 million; Delaware has just 917,000 residents.
"New Jersey is a massive opportunity because New Jersey has obviously taken a decision to enable regulated operators to offer casino games and poker, and for us it's the start of something very, very exciting," Ben Carter, digital director for Betfair, a London firm running the online casino for Trump Plaza, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Soft Launch

Still to be thoroughly tested is the geolocation technology that will determine a gambler’s location and determine whether they are actually in New Jersey.
Reports have already been logged of gamblers, trying the system during a test that began days before the official launch, being prohibited from logging on to gamble. One early-adopter told the Associated Press that he was still banned for online gambling even after driving 30 miles further toward the center of the state.

Nonetheless, state officials are among those eagerly watching the official launch, hoping to capitalize on tax revenue that had heretofore gone to shady offshore gambling sites skirting U.S. law.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a possible presidential contender for 2016, hopes New Jersey becomes a template for online gambling across the nation – and that federal officials see the revenue opportunity and relax regulations.

Gambling industry lobbyists are also pushing for relaxed federal laws in the U.S., arguing at the least for options that would allow players in different locations to play against each other.
"A federal law, should it come in the future, would allow for a customer in California to play poker against a citizen in New Jersey," Mark Jordan, a director at accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers, who has researched the online gaming market extensively, told the BBC.

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About the author
Daniel Hattem
From Amsterdam, Netherlands, Daniel Hattem is a qualified journalist who has worked in both media and non-media roles...

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