N.J. becoming 3rd state to offer Internet gambling

The testalso will evaluate electronic payment technology and the integrity andfunctionality of the casino games.

If all goes well, Internet gambling will be available to gamblers in New Jerseystarting Tuesday. Lesniak said the foreign companies want the stamp of approval thatstrict New Jersey regulation would bring.

Hours before the test was to begin, astate lawmaker unveiled a proposal to lure foreign online gambling companies to New Jersey.Sen. GamingEnforcement Director David Rebuck said he hopes to push the system and test itscapacity.

The participating casinos are theBorgata Hotel Casino & Spa; the Tropicana Casino and Resort; Trump PlazaHotel and Casino; the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Bally’s Atlantic City andCaesars Atlantic City.

PokerStars, the world’s largest pokerwebsite, was not cleared to participate in the test with its land-based casinopartner, Resorts Casino Hotel. PokerStars spokesman Eric Hollreiser said thecompany is continuing its talks with the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. The only other states with online gamblingare Nevada and Delaware.

A five-day trial period of Internet gambling begins Thursday night when playersinvited by casinos to test their systems make real-money bets online.

He said all indications suggest thesystem should work as designed to meet strict regulation and protect players.

“This is a very exciting time forAtlantic City and for the gaming industry,” said Alisa Cooper, acommissioner with the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.

“I’m cautiously optimistic,”he said. I don’t think there is anyonline gaming anywhere in the world that is going to be monitored as closelyand protect the integrity of the games and players’ money as well thesewill.”

The payoff to New Jerseywould be a 15 percent tax on their winnings, plus payments into a fund to raise$20 million a year for three years for NewJersey’s struggling horse racingindustry. Raymond Lesniak’s bill would entice foreign betting firms to set up shopin the state – even though they could only take bets from overseas gamblers -and be subject to New Jersey’s famously tough casino regulation.

Online betting will mark the biggestexpansion of gambling in New Jerseysince casino gambling began in 1978.

Six of the seven casinos given permitsto conduct Internet gambling in New Jerseywere cleared to start taking bets during the trial run starting at 6 p.m.Thursday. One casino, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, was left out of the testafter its systems did not pass rigorous state testing.

But the Golden Nugget said it hoped tobe cleared to join the others later Thursday or on Friday.

The casinos approved by the New JerseyDivision of Gaming Enforcement collectively will offer 13 websites wherecustomers can make real-money bets.

Regulators say from 500 to severalthousand people could be online at any one time during the test period. “With the dawn of Internetgaming, we are on the cusp of perhaps the biggest change – and challenge -since the first casino opened here,” Cooper said.

“However it is now apparent thatwe will not have approval in place to launch on Nov. – New Jerseyis poised to allow adults in the state to click a mouse or swipe a screen for achance to win money, making it only the third state to offer online gambling.. 26,” Hollreiser said.”We remain committed to working with the division to complete the reviewprocess.”

The test period was established todetermine whether sophisticated technology designed to ensure that all gamblersare in New Jersey and at least 21 years old works correctly. “Testing has been going on for months

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