I have not posted much in the way of content on my blog recently. That is because I have been busy writing news for a number of other sites. The online poker industry is getting off the ground and it has been creating a lot of work.
It all started in Nevada with Ultimate Poker, which launched on April 30th of this year. WSOP launched in September. Both are only available to players located in Nevada when logging onto the site. That is all about to change.
New Jersey will open online poker and casino games for real money to players located in the state next month. The official launch date for New Jersey online poker is November 26, 2013. There will be a 5-day soft launch that will be available only to invited players. The goal here is to identify any bugs before the sites are live to the general public.
New Jersey is taking a different route in Nevada in two ways. The first is that it will launch multiple real money gaming sites on the same day. The exact number is not known, but industry analysts believe the number will be around three. The other is that casino games banked by the house will be available. This will include slots, video poker and table games that are available in Atlantic City casinos.
Borgata, Golden Nugget, Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Tropicana and Optimal Payments have all been approved for licenses. As many as 30 other companies are still waiting for approval. Noticeably absent from the process are Atlantic Club and Revel. These are the only two Atlantic City casinos that will not opt into regulated online gaming. Atlantic Club entered into a failed acquisition agreement with PokerStars. Revel entered bankruptcy just one year after its grand opening. Its gaming revenue numbers are not showing much improvement.
New Jersey will not be the first state to launch online casino games. Delaware, through its state lottery and three racinos, will launch online casino games on October 31st. Online poker will also be available, although Delaware’s small population is not expected to be able to support much action. Delaware hopes to network with other states to improve its online poker liquidity.
The next question is what states will discuss online gaming during the 2014 legislative sessions. California, Pennsylvania and Illinois have all been mentioned as possible states that may may join one of the newest industries in the United States. Most states will start their next legislative session in January.