The state of New Jersey has now made gambling online legal. The Garden State joins Delaware and Nevada in doing so, but is far more significant due to its larger population.
Now this is an interesting development because the move had been made despite some pretty vociferous objections from the anti- gambling lobby. Of course, the state has a rich history of all things gambling related courtesy of Atlantic City and all its casinos which have been a traditional haven for New York gamblers. In other words, the state has something of a precedent – but not online.
Now New Jersey is currently 11th on the list of most populated states, quite a way behind the likes of California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania. You can bet that the state legislatures in these sates will be keeping a close eye on developments in the Garden State – to watch how things pan out with a view to following suit. That’s because online gambling is already an enormous business in other parts of the world – worth over $2 billion each year in the United Kingdom alone, for example. That brings in a lot of business and a lot of tax dollars – mainly because people have to be in the state and be residents of the state at the time of gambling.
In the first few weeks since online gambling became legal, the geo-location technology used to identify the location of would-be gamblers in Jersey has proved a little problematic to say the least. In fact, some estimates out the numbers of legitimate gamblers being unable to get on at around the 75% level. But these problems are steadily being sorted out by those Atlantic City-based casinos which have received licences to operate online – not least because it’s in their best interests to do so. In fact, there has been a mad scramble to entice Jersey gamblers in through the various operators’ virtual doors – with gifts of free cash on offer as welcome bonuses etc.
The geo-location technology has also reportedly blocked gamblers from 25 other states trying to make their way through those virtual doors illegally – which gives some indication of the level of interest here. The fact is that if online gambling really does open up across some of the better-populated states, there could be a real explosion across the country – not least to boost the public finances. There’s a lot of cash going begging as things stand.
Consequently, there are various companies and websites getting their organisations ready to handle bigger business whilst concentrating on New Jersey as a test-bed. The New Jersey Blue Book, for example, is an excellent affiliate site that has already produced free guides to the different online gambling options in the state, plus peer reviews, guidance on how to play slots and how to play various other online games and an overall top ten of the best sites out there.
This sort of initiative is a great free resource for Jersey residents learning to test their skills against the house online. But will other states follow suit? Only time will tell.