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New Jersey Sees 50,000 Sign Up for Online Gambling

New Jersey Sees 50,000 Sign Up for Online Gambling

While hardly glitch-free, New Jersey’s venture into online gambling is off to a strong start with about 51,000 players signing up with the 13 websites now in action after one week of play.

Officials are confident that geolocation programs—which are still blocking some players in the state—are doing a good job blocking players from outside New Jersey, and even outside the U.S., from gambling.

“The good news is that people are not getting on the site from outside the state, and that’s the most important part,” Steve Callender, general manager of Tropicana Casino Resort, told the Bergen Record. “Unfortunately, some people in the state are having trouble getting in. It’s a brand-new technology and very detailed, and we still have to work some things out. But people have been very patient.”

Initial reports also say that the popularity so far has not been based only on poker, and games such as online slots are also getting a lot of play. Still, poker is a driving force. Nj.PartyPoker.com reported more than 1,800 players for its first “Next Poker Millionaire” tournament held last month.

Technical glitches remain a problem, however, as some players are also having trouble with identity verification and sites repeatedly bouncing them out of the system. Still, DGE officials say none of these problems has resulted in an official consumer complaint filed with the division.

Players are also continuing to have trouble with some banks and credit-card issuers, which will not allow online gaming transfers. Visa cardholders have had the most problems, with about one in five being accepted. MasterCard users have seen a better success rate of about 80 percent.

Major banks such as Bank of America and other systems such as PayPal have been refusing the transactions. The state’s Department of Banking and Insurance, however, has been reaching out to banks and federal regulators to help smooth the transactions, said David L. Rebuck, head of the DGE. For the moment, direct wire transfers and in-person deposits at casinos are the best bet for players.

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