With overall revenue at its brick and mortar casinos on the decline for several years, Atlantic City casinos hope to buck that trend when real-money online gambling makes its official debut on November 26.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement formally notified the casinos of the launch date and did so well in advance of the 45 days required by law. The 26th of November is two days before the Thanksgiving holiday and comes about seven months after Nevada rolled out the first regulated online poker site on April 30.
Unlike Nevada, New Jersey will allow Internet casino games in addition to poker, and state officials are hoping that the Garden State will become the “hub” of online gambling as a result. Other states who eventually consider or enact online gambling legislation may look to New Jersey and perhaps emulate that Internet gambling scheme, seeing that it encompasses virtually all casino games.
While Nov. 26 at 9:00 a.m. is set as the official date and time, a five-day test period will commence on Nov. 21. That so-called “soft launch” is by invitation only and its purpose is to work out any bugs that may occur. One need look no further than the recent launches of Ultimate Poker and WSOP.com in Nevada to see that a number of glitches are common upon turning on the virtual switch.
There are still over three dozen gambling license applicants to investigate, including the partnerships that the casinos themselves have entered into with gaming companies both at home and abroad. New Jersey regulators are undoubtedly hard at work in scrutinizing those wannabes and have a huge task ahead to prepare for the online gaming launch that is now only a little more than 50 days away.