American poker players anxious to hop onto New Jersey’s online gambling train attempted to log onto gambling websites as soon as they were permitted to do so recently – even players who were not in the state at the time. New Jersey is the third state to legalize online gambling (after Delaware and Nevada), but as part of the enacted law, only those determined to be within state boundaries are allowed to log on and play. That didn’t stop some folks from trying anyhow. On the first night that online gambling was legal and officially a-go in New Jersey, players from at least 23 states made the effort to log on, despite the fact that New Jersey’s law clearly requires that gamblers be present in the state to use the services.
Geolocation is being used to block those out-of-state, and most within the business strongly support the safeguards currently in place. Unfortunately, the technology has had the effect of also occasionally flagging and blocking some legitimate gamblers within state lines during the test phase.
Regardless, geolocation issues do not seem to be much of a concern for Gaming Enforcement at this time, with representatives noting that the reported issues were temporary glitches that would be worked out in the first few days of operation. Spokesperson for Gaming Enforcement Lisa Spengler suggested that the technology was working as intended and any problems thus far seemed “to be routine and not evidence of system-wide issues.” She also said that it was “better to have instances of people in New Jersey being blocked than instances of people being able to gamble from outside New Jersey.” As a result, some minor adjustments were being made and systems were being tweaked following the launch, but most in the business were feeling positive about the launch.
“We are using the soft launch for exactly what it was intended for — to test,” said Joe Lupo, senior vice president of the Borgata Casino, which was not online to the public on the first night.
At this time, 14 sites currently offer online gambling services to New Jersey residents and visitors.