Saturday November 30,2013 : WIFI VENUES TO PLAY A ROLE IN NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING?
Will coffee shops and other venues offering free WiFi allow patrons to play online on the premises?
The Philadelphia Enquirer raised an interesting discussion point this week as New Jersey regulated online gambling became a reality…will venues offering free WiFi tolerate patrons coming together to gamble on the premises, using the newly launched internet poker and casino gaming sites?
It's early days yet, but the Enquirer met varied responses on checking with a few high-profile New Jersey venues likely to attract this sort of customer or customers – those who might settle in for a meal or a cup of coffee and individually or collectively indulge in some online casino or poker action at the same time.
Starbucks appeared to be allowing patrons to use its high speed WiFi to gamble, although a spokesman was cagey about the franchise's official posture, declining to comment.
Wegmans, on the other hand, said its outlets had blocked gambling websites before it became the pastime was legalised in New Jersey and has no plans to change its policy in this regard.
Dunkin' Donuts told the Enquirer that it is still undecided, with spokesman Justin Drake saying:
"We're proud to offer our guests free high-speed WiFi access at many of our U.S. Dunkin' Donuts restaurants. We are currently assessing our WiFi usage policy for stores in New Jersey in light of the recent legalization."
Reporters from the newspaper attempted to obtain the views of many other likely venues, but there seemed to be a general reluctance to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Caesars Interactive Entertainment said that reported technical connection difficulties were more often on the consumer end rather than the casino client or the technology side.
CIE communications head Seth Palansky told Philly.com that some added software for Web browsers can cause problems, and that aspirant gamblers occasionally need to activate WiFi on their computers even if they have a cable connection to the Internet. He said Google Chrome seems to work best for online gambling.