New Jersey gamblers had one more reason to give thanks during the holidays this year. According to a report by the Associated Press last week, more than 5,000 new online gambling accounts were created in New Jersey on Thanksgiving day, bringing the total 37,277 as of Thursday night.
The Garden State's newly-regulated Internet gambling market launched on Nov. 26 after a five-day trial period which allowed registered players to test out each operator's software. Six casinos — Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, Tropicana Casino and Resort, Caesars Atlantic City and Bally's Atlantic City — were given full permits to provide real-money online gambling within state lines. The Golden Nugget is still in the test phase and is expected to enter the market this month.
"I'm pleasantly pleased," David Rebuck, director of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, told the AP about last week's launch. "I'm also very tired because for the last seven days, all I've been doing is worrying this was going to crash."
There were some chinks in the armor last week, mostly related to the geo-location services provided partners of the casinos. The license-approved technology prevents residents from other states from accessing the websites. Many gamblers located in New Jersey reported problems logging on to an online gambling site last week, but the companies have been working to ensure the problems are corrected.
The biggest problem facing players now is depositing money into their account. As reported by Bloomberg last month, some banking companies — including Visa and Bank of America have been overly cautious with transactions linked online gambling. The Associated Press reported that MasterCard approved nearly eight times the amount of iGaming transactions as Visa during the first week of online gambling in New Jersey. Gaming regulators said that direct bank transfers were the most successful avenue for gambling to fund their online accounts.
Despite those hurdles, it didn't take long for New Jersey to supplant Nevada as the leader in online poker traffic in the U.S. As of Monday afternoon, Nevada's two online poker rooms (WSOP.com and UltimatePoker.com) had seen a combined 24-hour peak of 443 players, according to PokerScout.com. New Jersey's four rooms had a combined 24-hour peak of 848 players — more than double that of the Silver State. Nevada got a six-month head start on New Jersey, but it also has a population approximately one-third the size.
We'll continue to provide the latest updates on New Jersey's online gambling launch. Get all the latest PokerNews updates on your social media outlets. Follow us on Twitter and find us on both Facebook and Google+!