NEW JERSEY 101.5

It’s a major day for New Jersey’s gambling industry, but Atlantic City casinos haven’t been making a big deal about it.

Luis Davilla, Getty Images

With the trial period beginning today for invited players, New Jersey has become the third state in the nation to offer online gaming. If all goes well, the service would go statewide on November 26 and anyone physically in the state can partner up with a casino online and play their favorite games from home.

A recent survey showed a majority of residents aren’t aware of the state’s plans to launch legal, regulated online gambling. It hasn’t been a major focus of marketing in the struggling resort town, but that could be a good thing.

Israel Posner, Executive Director of the Lloyd D. Levinson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality & Tourism at Stockton College, said internet gambling’s “low-key introduction” is a smart play for casinos. They, along with their online partners, can work out any errors that may pop up, without dealing with thousands of complaints from frustrated users.

“Look what happened with Obamacare when they launched a major site and opened it up on day one with great fanfare,” Posner said. “Very quickly, you can get crushed.”

Posner predicted that once the sites are deemed fully-functional and tweak-free, heavy marketing can begin. It’s expected the billboards and mailers will target gamblers who live nowhere near Atlantic City – those who are tempted to go over the state’s border for gaming.

The profits from online gaming are not huge for the casinos themselves, but Posner said it gives Atlantic City a chance to grab new customers and ones that haven’t visited in a while.