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Online Gambling Accounts Near 150K in NJ

The number of Internet gambling accounts created in New Jersey continues to grow and is nearing 150,000.

Online Gambling Sites
Bruno Vincent, Getty Images

New Jersey authorized Internet gambling last year to give a boost to Atlantic City‘s struggling casino industry, which has been beset by increasing competition for the past seven years. It began with a five-day trial period on Nov. 21 and launched publicly on Nov. 25.

As of Monday, 148,487 accounts had been created, though the state’s Gaming Enforcement Division notes that individuals often create separate accounts on more than one site.

The state will issue its first report next week on Internet gambling revenue won by the casinos.

Seven casinos are offering online gambling. They are: the Golden Nugget Atlantic City; the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; the Tropicana Casino and Resort; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino; the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Caesars Atlantic City and Bally’s Atlantic City.

Resorts Casino Hotel also has received approval to offer Internet gambling. But its online partner, PokerStars, has been suspended from offering Internet gambling in New Jersey for two years due to an indictment against its founder.

State gambling regulators said PokerStars can reapply for approval before then if its circumstances change enough to bring it into compliance with New Jersey regulations.

Online betting marks the biggest expansion of gambling in New Jersey since the first Atlantic City casino opened in 1978. The state lets gamblers play any of the games offered in its 12 casinos including card games and slots, but online poker has proven especially popular in the early going.

New Jersey is the third state in the nation to offer Internet gambling, after Nevada and Delaware.

It remains to be seen if the $200 million to $300 million that Wall Street analysts predict Internet gambling may bring in over its first year will be new business, or whether it will simply cannibalize walk-in business at the brick-and-mortar casinos.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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