Not so long ago, online gambling was prohibited in the United States. This was primarily due to the fact that American banks could not legally process financial transactions associated with online gambling. Today, that tide has changed. Three states have given the thumbs up to virtual gaming for money: Delaware, Nevada, and most recently, New Jersey. This November, online poker, blackjack, and slots will officially become available as a legal form of gambling in the Garden State.
Keeping Offshore Casinos Out of the Equation
The process of establishing legal online gambling in a state is not a simple one. In order to comply with U.S. law, the online casinos in question must be physically located in the state. Players must also be physically located in the state to participate. Furthermore, all U.S. online casinos must have an established business partnership with a brick-and-mortar casino in their home state. U.S. politicians devised these rules in order to keep offshore casinos, which currently take in a lot of American money on a daily basis, out of the business equation.
So far, five of Atlantic City's twelve casinos have obtained state licenses for this new online venture. The casinos are: the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the Golden Nugget, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and most recently, the Tropicana. Come November 26th, the virtual casinos associated with these land-based casinos will be ready to greet their online public with real-money gambling.
A Boost to New Jersey's Economy
This new foray into online moneymaking could not have come at a better time for New Jersey. The state's gambling profits have dwindled in recent months thanks to the American recession and competition from casinos in neighboring states. A recent report indicated that New Jersey's gambling revenue has plummeted to its lowest figure in 20 years.
On the bright side, legalized online gambling could soon deliver the Garden State from its financial woes. Under the guidance of Governor Chris Christie, the expanding online gambling market in New Jersey is expected to breathe new life into the state's struggling casino industry. Experts estimate that the legalization will inject millions, if not billions, of dollars into the New Jersey's annual budget.
Gaming Providers Partner With Casinos
Since the announcement of the legalization, hopeful online gaming providers have rushed to establish partnerships with Atlantic City's brick-and-mortar casinos. Some of the leading online game providers in this endeavor are Bwin.party, 888 Holdings, Ultimate Gaming, and PokerStars. 2UP gaming, a British company, is also hoping to get a piece of the profit by purchasing a brick-and-mortar casino in Atlantic City.
Even though only five licenses have been issued to casinos at this point, sources report that ten of the twelve Atlantic City casinos have already created partnerships with online gaming providers. It seems to be only a matter of time before the casino mecca of Atlantic City becomes fully saturated in virtual gambling as well.
“An Entirely New Business Model”
Michael Pollock, director of Spectrum Gaming, has called the unique tie between online and on-land gaming companies an “entirely new business model” with “little precedent.” As such, it is an exciting experiment in business economics that many feel will change the gambling industry for the better.
One of the biggest economic advantages to the legalization is that Americans will now have the opportunity to do their virtual gambling locally. Before this, Americans with a penchant for Internet gaming had to reach out to offshore sites for their fun. Now they have the option of legally enjoying the activity in their own country, keeping revenue within the country's borders and business at home. Indeed, many Americans will find it easier to interact with people from their own state and country when playing virtual games.
New Jersey in an Enviable Position
As the third state to legalize online gaming, New Jersey is in an enviable position, says Whittier Law School professor I. Nelson Rose. Rose explains that as one of the pioneers in this new industry, New Jersey will gain the experience and clout necessary to win coveted licenses later on, when more states are seeking to get in on the action. Rose has even gone as far as to say that the businesses who are getting involved now could one day “dominate” the industry because of their experience and acquired expertise.
Other Companies Involved, More Employment Opportunities
This new and exciting industry is expected to create jobs, which is good news for Americans who have struggled with difficult economic conditions for the past six years.
The industry won't just provide employment opportunities for casino workers and online gaming providers, however; it will also require the manpower to process online payments, complete registrations, verify identities, and manipulate the geolocation technology necessary to make sure players really are inside the state.
All of these roles will be filled by American workers, thereby stimulating the American economy even further.
Trial Period Set for November 21st
A five-day trial period is set to commence on November 21st. During the time, invited guests will be able to participate in “soft play” online gambling. If all runs smoothly, the gates will open to the masses on November 26th, two days before America's Thanksgiving holiday. The long holiday weekend, which includes the infamous bargain shopping day called “Black Friday,” is sure to give New Jersey's new online gambling business an extra boost.
Spreading Like Wildfire
The idea of legalized online gambling is expected to spread like wildfire in the United States. Granted, the wildfire could be a slow-burning one; it takes time for any given state to propose an idea, deliberate it, vote on it, and create legislation. Proposals for legalized online gambling have been made in eight states at this time, including California and Pennsylvania. As months pass and America watches New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada rake in revenue from their virtual gaming ventures, this moneymaking idea is bound to catch on.