New Jersey Remains on Pace As Nevada Online Gambling Delays Continue
While Nevada may have been the first state in the U.S. to go live with regulated online gambling, the slight lead that milestone afforded may be in danger as competing states seek to displace Nevada at the top of the growing industry.
The main threat in the status quo: New Jersey, where regulators recently suggested that they remain on track for their ambitious launch date of November 23rd, 2013.
And when New Jersey does launch real-money online gambling, they’ll also be outdoing Nevada in one specific way: offering not only poker, but casino games to boot.
NJ regulators reveal they’ve been working for some time to develop regulations
What’s driving New Jersey’s belief that they can be live with regulated online gambling in just a few months? Part of the confidence stems from the fact that regulators have apparently been preparing themselves to handle the issue of regulating Internet gambling for some time.
According to recent interviews with the head of New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, David Rebuck, preparations for regulating online gambling have been in the works for years. But the agency began looking at the issue with substantially greater urgency after the Department of Justice issued their memo regarding a re-interpretation of the Wire Act in December of 2011.
If November target is met, questions about Nevada’s pace will arise
Regulators in New Jersey – along with the majority of industry observers – agree that the November launch target is aggressive. But as the date draws closer absent any indication of setbacks or delays, many are starting to wonder exactly why New Jersey has been able to proceed at a pace that makes Nevada’s progress on regulated online gambling seem downright glacial by comparison.
Has Nevada taken an overly cautious approach to online gambling regulation? Or does the state simply not feel the same urgency to roll out regulated poker and casino games as New Jersey, where casino revenues are in the midst of a nearly-decade-long slump?
Whatever the explanation, one thing seems certain: if New Jersey manages to pass legislation allowing online gambling and launches full-scale real-money online gambling within the same calendar year – as it appears poised to do – then consumers in Nevada are going to have some tough questions for regulators and operators.
Specifically, why have Nevada players had to wait so long for a robust online gambling market to emerge? And why has the process of releasing seemingly trivial software updates for Nevada’s one up-and-running online poker site been so fraught with delays and difficulty?
Did Nevada gain an advantage from acting first?
Much was made about Nevada’s title as the first U.S. state to offer regulated, legal online poker in the US. At the time, it was assumed by many that Nevada’s early start would provide them with a considerable advantage in the American market. Some even argued that Nevada could emerge as a powerful international regulator thanks to its reputation and first-mover status.
But now much of that talk seems somewhat empty. As 2013 draws to a close, Nevada could easily be facing a situation where they’re only one of a growing number of states with live online gambling options. New Jersey seems dead-set on going live before 2013 wraps up. Delaware appears confident of their ability to launch before year’s end. And it bears repeating that both of those states are poised to offer a full selection of casino games and poker to Internet customers, while Nevada continues to permit online poker only.
The market for regulated online gambling in the United States is obviously still in its nascent stage. And New Jersey, Delaware and whatever other states decide to join the market in the months ahead may find themselves anything but immune to the delays that have plagued Nevada when the rubber of regulated Internet gambling finally meets the road.
But as it stands now, Nevada seems to have balked on an opportunity, and New Jersey appears both ready and willing to capitalize on its long-time competitor’s difficulty bringing the magic and allure of the Las Vegas gambling experience online.
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