Six Atlantic City Casinos Approved to Operate Online

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013 | Written by Stan McCormick
Six Atlantic City Casinos Approved to Operate Online

The trial-phase for Atlantic City casino websites has come to an end and public gaming began tonight. Six Atlantic City casinos were permitted to open their virtual doors to the public tonight at midnight, making their November 26th deadline.

Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck confirmed that 13 websites would be allowed to move from testing to the real deal tonight. Though the trial soft-play phase only allowed up to 500 players to log on at a time, there were no real hiccups since the trial started last Thursday that should delay the green light on online gambling in New Jersey any further.

He stated, “For the general public to understand, after midnight tonight, the casinos will offer their games to anybody in the state who wants to register or wants to attempt to register,” and that there was “no significant, widespread regulatory problems or identified any technical barriers for going live to the rest of the state.”

Just nine months after Governor Chris Christie signed the law into existence, permitting existing casinos to obtain online casino permits, the first regulated online casinos and poker sites are opening for business, something many did not believe was possible.

There are a couple of hurdles still ahead, though. A lot of banks including PayPal and American Express still do not permit gambling transactions, so many players may find some difficulty funding their accounts. Regulators and casino executives hope that more banks will come on board now that the process is bona fide legal.

Furthermore, it is a paramount priority to regulators that every single player be genuinely confirmed to be located in New Jersey. This has meant that some players have had a bit of trouble registering and even logging on once registered, but Rebuck explains these problems will get better, though the standards will remain stringent, as per legislature. Players showed frustration over the first couple days trying to get into the site.

He explained, “People ask me, ‘Well, you’re going to have a meltdown, a failure in the way Obamacare is happening?’ I hear that all the time. People ask me that. There’s so many distinctions, it’s almost incredible I have to answer it. But iGaming is an entertainment function. That’s not a core life responsibility. There are instances when people in New Jersey are being blocked. I understand that.”

Six casino/software “teams” were approved for full launch including Borgata/bwin.party; Caesars/Amaya; Bally’s/888 Holdings; Trump Plaza/Betfair; Trump Majal/Ultimate Gaming; and Tropicana/GameSys.

Golden Nugget, which has had a  somewhat of a rocky road during the approval process, but managed to land the seventh New Jersey online gaming permit, will stay in the limited-play testing phase, according to Rebuck. He does believe, though, that at some point, Golden Nugget will move into full play.

According to a statement from Golden Nugget, executives feel that they need to work on their customer experience for about another week before going public.

Golden Nugget VP of Internet Gaming Operations Thomas Winter said, “There is nothing more important to the Golden Nugget than our player satisfaction. Being among the first to launch our online gaming site is not what is important to us. It is more important to be among the best.”

But there will be no shortage of players to go around, and there will be plenty of surplus for Golden Nugget when they do launch. Rebuck explained that widespread interest was already apparent with more than 10,000 registrations across the 17 websites during the soft-play phase (though some of these players may had been the same players registering at multiple casinos).

The approved casinos are not only approved for full public launch, but will be allowed to market their online casino and poker products throughout the state of New Jersey.