N.J. to be­come 3rd state to OK online gam­bling

The Washington Times Daily - - Nation - BY WAYNE PARRY

AT­LANTIC CITY, N.J. | New Jersey is al­low­ing adults in the state to click a mouse or swipe a screen for a chance to win money, mak­ing it the third state to of­fer online gam­bling.

A five-day trial pe­riod of In­ter­net gam­bling be­gan Thurs­day night when play­ers in­vited by casi­nos to test their sys­tems made real-money bets online.

If all goes well, In­ter­net gam­bling will be avail­able to gam­blers in New Jersey start­ing Tues­day. The only other states with online gam­bling are Ne­vada and Delaware.

It wasn’t go­ing so well for Joseph Bren­nen. The un­em­ployed bar­tender from Vent­nor was ex­cit­edly try­ing to log on to any gam­bling site that would take him. Sit­ting in a McDon­ald’s, with the At­lantic City Board­walk casi­nos glit­ter­ing in the dis­tance, he kept get­ting se­cu­rity mes­sages say­ing com­plex tech­nol­ogy de­signed to en­sure all play­ers are within New Jersey’s bor­ders didn’t be­lieve he was in the state and were shut­ting him out.

It was a pos­si­ble sce­nario de­tailed by The As­so­ci­ated Press in a weekend story quot­ing online gam­bling of­fi­cials who said they moved their “online fences” away from the state’s bor­ders to en­sure that play­ers from other states couldn’t get online to gam­ble.

So Mr. Bren­nen drove 5 miles in­land and 5 miles north to a high­way rest stop, where he still en­coun­tered dif­fi­culty get­ting online.

“Over there, I was be­ing told I wasn’t in New Jersey,” he said. “Here, it’s not telling me yes or no.”

The seven casi­nos ap­proved by the New Jersey Di­vi­sion of Gam­ing En­force­ment col­lec­tively of­fered 14 web­sites where cus­tomers can make real-money bets. The par­tic­i­pat­ing casi­nos are the Bor­gata Ho­tel Casino & Spa; the Trop­i­cana Casino and Re­sort; Trump Plaza Ho­tel and Casino; the Trump Taj Ma­hal Casino Re­sort; Bally’s At­lantic City and Cae­sars At­lantic City, along with the Golden Nugget.

The test pe­riod was es­tab­lished to de­ter­mine the ef­fec­tive­ness of so­phis­ti­cated tech­nol­ogy de­signed to en­sure that all gam­blers are in New Jersey and at least 21 years old. The test also will eval­u­ate elec­tronic pay­ment tech­nol­ogy and the in­tegrity and func­tion­al­ity of the casino games.

Online bet­ting will mark the big­gest ex­pan­sion of gam­bling in New Jersey since casino gam­bling be­gan in 1978.

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