Friday November 22 ,2013 : NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING MARKET GETS UNDERWAY (Update)
Last minute exclusion of Golden Nugget the only surprise.
At 6 pm EST Thursday the New Jersey online gambling market opened in a five-day soft launch period preceding full operations and intended to weed out any unanticipated glitches.
When we went to press the last-minute exclusion of the Golden Nugget – Bally Technology – Amaya partnership was the only surprise. The partnership was denied a final green light by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement for reasons that were not immediately clear, but Golden Nugget spokesmen said the company hoped to get the go ahead for its four websites in a matter of days. (See updated footnote)
Six of the seven Internet gambling operational permit holders systems passed rigorous pre-launch testing, and the state regulator cleared 13 gambling websites for soft launch action, operated by Borgata, Trump Plaza, the Taj Mahal, Tropicana, Bally’s and Caesars.
DGE spokeswoman Lisa Spengler said the division was working with Golden Nugget on its systems, and that once the obstacles to final approval had been ironed out, the partnership would have to complete a full five day trialling period.
DGE director David Rebuck said that the five day trial period that all operators must successfully pass was designed to enable them to show the regulator that the technical, business and financial systems deployed operated in compliance with the state's stringent regulations under the stress of live gambling activity.
He said that his staff would be continually monitoring activity to assess individual operator progress and would report back before full-on operations were opened to the public at large from November 26.
In all, 13 gambling websites launched for real-money action Thursday evening:
Caesars Entertainment – 888
Caesars Entertainment – Amaya Gaming
Tropicana – Gamesys
Trump Plaza – Betfair
Trump Taj Mahal – Ultimate Gaming
In late breaking news Thursday night, Golden Nugget advised that it had been cleared for the soft launch some hours after its rivals and was now operational in the trial period.
Tom Pohlman, the casino's general manager, said the Golden Nugget resolved two issues with state regulators and was given permission to begin so-called "soft play" with the other Internet gambling permit holders.
The Golden Nugget – Bally Tech sites are:
Early reports indicated isolated cases where the geolocation systems erred on the side of caution and blocked some players who claimed they were within state borders.