Joining Nevada and Delaware as the only three US states legally offering Internet gambling options, New Jersey’s Atlantic City casino-based Internet gambling empire has officially been established. Running a minimal number of websites licensed through Atlantic City’s brick-and-mortar casinos, the Garden State experienced minimal problems on its first few days of test launch Internet gambling access. Only residents of and travelers to Atlantic City and other parts of New Jersey can legally access this history making Internet gambling industry, and with less than one week of virtual Vegas style gambling under its belt, state legislators are already looking to the future and possible expansion of their New Jersey online casino and poker platforms.
With 9 million residents, New Jersey easily delivers a more attractive player pool than both Nevada (3 million residents) and Delaware (1 million residents) combined. Those two states just this past week began talks revolved around performing some type of agreement or compact which would allow them to share player pools. And though New Jersey has barely dipped its tentative toe into Internet gambling waters, countries and locales from around the world have already approached State Senator Raymond Lesniak about possibly setting up Internet operations in his state, and then offering their residents global access to the virtual Atlantic City casinos.
Boasting an eventual goal of becoming the “global Internet gambling leader” may be jumping the gun for Lesniak at this early stage, but he plans to introduce legislation this week which would allow non-US companies worldwide to take part in his state’s new online gambling industry.
It is reasonable to accept a minimal number of bugs and speed bumps when any new industry launches, and that is exactly what happened on the 21st with the test phase of New Jersey’s Internet gambling product. To make certain that no parties outside the state of New Jersey could access the virtual casinos, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement “brought in” the virtual fences which dictate where legal and illegal Internet gambling access is taking place, in some cases by as much as 15 miles.
This created some frustration among a few potential New Jersey based Internet gamblers, with one, Joseph Brennen, unsuccessfully attempting to log on for more than three hours, even though at one time he was located in a McDonald’s in Atlantic City within a couple of hundred yards of the virtual casino servers. Most of the players interviewed had nothing but positive things to say, and as the Atlantic City-based websites prepare to launch statewide their full lineup of Internet gambling options on the 26th of November, there are other states which are quietly eyeballing New Jersey.
In Mississippi, House Gaming Committee Chairman Richard Bennett, a Republican from Long Beach, said he and his fellow lawmakers are closely watching New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware, and are keeping apprised of the progress and problems which occur during what is still basically an Internet gambling testing phase in the United States. Bennett stated that hearings and special meetings focusing directly on Internet gambling are planned for the 2014 legislative session in Mississippi, and the financial success or failure of New Jersey and the only other two states to currently offer legal Internet gambling for real money will definitely play a part in Mississippi’s virtual gambling plans of the future.