Full Launch For Regulated Online Poker In New Jersey Gets Underway Today

On Thursday, November 21, the soft launch period for invited online poker players in the state of New Jersey commenced, with 15 domains receiving approval to offer their services to NJ residents. The licensed NJ operators include bwin.party, 888, Amaya Gaming, Gamesys, Betfair and Ultimate Poker.

Noticeably absent during the “soft launch” was online poker giant, PokerStars. The company has been running into difficulty in its attempt to get a New Jersey online gambling license. But a spokesperson from PokerStars has said the company will “remain committed to working with them to complete the process.”

Six Atlantic City casinos have also been given the green light for online gambling in New Jersey, including The Borgata, Bally’s, Caesars, Tropicana, Trump Plaza, and Trump Taj Mahal Casino. They have all been issued permits to conduct internet gambling operations from the state, made possible through their online partners.

Bwin.party finally re-enters the US online poker market and will provide the online poker platform for The Borgata Hotel Casino. Trump Plaza will partner with Betfair in New Jersey. Likewise, Caesars has partnered with 888 Holdings, and Ultimate Gaming has partnered with Trump Taj. Its online poker platform, which is already in use in Nevada, has been rolled out in New Jersey. It will also offer casino style games provided by IGT and SHFL for players who join its recently launched ucasino.com. And The Golden Nugget Casino has partnered with Ballys on the Amaya/Ongame platform.

During testing there were a number of initial glitches resulting from geolocation problems and the sign-up process for new players, which is to be expected as technologies and the framework for regulated online gambling in New Jersey still need to be ironed out. Most of the issues have been surrounding the geo-location software, which seemed to be blocking some of the users who resided from the state.

Whilst not ideal and no doubt something which needs attention, it has to be said, it’s much better the geolocation software has been implemented with stricter entry requirements, since the whole point of the technology is to make more difficult for users outside of the state to participate in real money games. New Jersey licensed online gambling operators have been given permission to alter the access boundaries.

Some players have also been experiencing issues with making deposits, however, this is not something that regulators and the casinos have much control over. At the core of the problem is the reluctance for some banking institutions to process gambling related transactions, even though it’s now a regulated market. Because of this, the online gambling operators in NJ will need to pressure the banks to change their policies and educate their players on how to deposit with alternative deposit methods when credit cards don’t work.

Several thousand people were invited to participate in the soft launch. Fortunately, although the test period caused the systems to reach full capacity resulting in the glitches described above, the operators have been successful in fixing these issues in a reasonable timeframe.

A full launch for regulated online poker in New Jersey is expected to take place today, November 26 at 9am. However, the New Jersey DGE will consider extending the soft launch period if it doesn’t feel the system is ready to go live. If everything goes as planned, New Jersey will become the third state in the nation to offer all forms of online gambling, after Nevada and Delaware. It has been two years in the making, led by New Jersey Senator Raymond Lesniak, with support from Governor Chris Christie.