We’ve assembled this guide, which will be updated throughout the soft launch, to answer some of the most common questions about New Jersey’s initial foray into regulated online casino and poker games.
The soft launch – essentially a beta testing period for regulated online gambling in NJ – began at 6pm on November 21st and runs intermittently through midnight on November 25th.
The public launch of regulated online gambling in NJ is tentatively slated for November 26th at 9am.
New Jersey officials have indicated that they will be willing to push back that date should problems arise during the soft launch.
Joe Versaci of Ultimate Gaming offered some insight into what operators would have to achieve in order to clear the soft launch trial:
.@SnapcallNJ to prove r tech b4 green light must attempt,block & doc at least-25 underage, 25 mistyped, 25 deceased & 25 out of nj accounts
— Joe Versaci (@JoeV149) November 21, 2013
A total of 15 sites, spread across seven Internet Gaming Permit holders, have been approved to begin what the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement is calling “soft play” as of 6pm EST November 21st.
Per the DGE’s list, those sites include:
Borgata / Party
Caesars / 888
Caesars / Amaya
Golden Nugget / Bally Technologies
Tropicana / Gamesys
Trump Plaza / Betfair
Trump Taj Mahal / Ultimate Gaming
PokerFuse has a good breakdown of the available poker options in NJ’s soft launch. Short answer:
Remember, these rooms are ring-fenced, meaning New Jersey players can only play against other NJ players.
For example, while Ultimate Poker does have a Nevada-facing online poker room, that pool of players remains separate from the site’s New Jersey-facing room.
No. Participation in the soft launch is limited by two factors:
Yes. While no firm data is available, anecdotal reports indicate that consumers are having a variety of issues trying to access online casinos and poker rooms in New Jersey.
The primary issue at this point appears to be related to geo-location, or the technological process of confirming that a given consumer is actually located within New Jersey’s borders.
These issues are not unexpected and should not provide much cause for alarm. In the soft launch period, casinos are trying to prove to NJ regulators that they can keep out customers who shouldn’t be allowed in, so it makes sense that systems would be calibrated to err on the side of denying access.
And remember, consumer participation in the soft launch is also restricted by individual casino policy. For example, The Borgata soft launch is invite-only. So some consumers may be mistaking casino policy for technical failure at this early point in the game.
The Golden Nugget has been on something of a roller coaster ride during the soft launch period.
Initially, the company was not included on the list of casinos approved for sort launch. Then, with just hours to go before launch, the company was added to the list.
At first, the NJ DGE listed both casino and poker URLs for Golden Nugget. But around 9:30 AM EST, the poker URLs were removed from the list of approved sites.
Of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos, Resorts, Revel and the Atlantic Club Casino remain in a sort of iGaming limbo as New Jersey prepares to launch regulated online gambling.
Revel and the ACC have publicly indicated that they aren’t planning to pursue regulated online gambling at this point.
Resorts is interested in participating in the NJ market for online casino games and online poker, but has a proposed partnership with PokerStars awaiting regulatory approval.
Suggested Twitter accounts for NJ online gambling coverage:
Suggested sites:New Jersey Online Gambling Soft Launch Lineup Revealed, Play Begins Chris Grove