On November 21, New Jersey joined Delaware and Nevada in the three state group that is forming the historical basis for America’s legal online gambling industry. Nevada was the first state to legalize online gambling, moving quickly in early 2012 after Department of Justice officials in the United States passed Internet gambling regulation and legislation responsibilities to the state level. Delaware became the second state to formulate a legal online gambling legislative package, and joined the Internet gambling party on Halloween night with a soft launch rollout of Internet poker, slots, roulette and blackjack. Now New Jersey is officially a legal Internet gambling state, at least for its residents and visitors.
Nevada and Delaware are two of the smaller US states, claiming 3 million and 1 million residents respectively. New Jersey boasts a population of 9 million, and when you include the number of travelers and visitors that flock every year to the Atlantic City Boardwalk, the potential player pool for New Jersey Internet gambling is rather impressive. However, there are bugs to be squashed in the new Atlantic City-based New Jersey Internet gambling rollout. Joseph Brennen was one of several New Jersey residents who tried for hours to unsuccessfully log on and gamble after the November 21 launch. But problems with the Garden State’s player location and identification system kept him shut out, claiming he was not eligible because they either did not believe he was located in New Jersey, or could not identify his position at all.
The problem was not rampant statewide, and is just one of the snafus that can be expected when a new industry is launched. In other legal Internet betting news, Delaware Governor Jack Markell reported that he is in serious discussions with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, with both sides considering a possible Internet poker partnership which would involve player pool sharing. The obvious benefit to smaller states like Delaware and Nevada would help them keep their head above water in this burgeoning industry, as more populous states such as New Jersey begin offering their product.
Nevada uniquely offers just Internet poker for real money gambling currently. Both Delaware and New Jersey have decided to deliver a full lineup of legal casino gambling as well as legal online poker on their state-sponsored and regulated Internet gambling websites. The concern for Nevada gaming officials was that Internet gambling might simply replace live gambling if comparable casino games were offered both online and at the well known and popular brick-and-mortar casinos in Las Vegas. Silver State officials expressed the possibility of adding casino gambling as a viable Internet wagering option in the future, but currently the WSOP and Ultimate Poker websites delivering legal Nevada poker are gaining in popularity every day, so Nevada is in no hurry to change its Internet gambling profile.
On November 26, New Jersey will roll out a statewide, multiple website launch of Internet casino and poker, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he is excited and confident about New Jersey’s prospects of becoming the Internet gambling leader in the United States. You do not have to physically be located in one of the three legal Internet gambling states to register for a real money gambling account. But you must be present in one of those three states, and inside state boundaries, to enjoy legal, state-sponsored Internet wagering on poker and traditional casino games for real money. Legal betting online is predicted to arrive in January or February in the populous state of California, with other states such as Pennsylvania close to legalizing Internet gambling as well.