A Rough Start For Online Gambling in New Jersey

Online gambling is now legal in three states; Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada. Recently New Jersey’s online gambling sites went live. Several glitches were found and operators hope to correct them soon. Online gamblers in 23 states tried to sign up at New Jersey’s gaming sites and thanks to geolocation software none of the out of state gamblers was successful. The attempts show shy the state needs strict safeguards to keep out of state players from gambling online. New Jersey’s gaming law requires all plaayers to be located within the state’s borders. Currently online bingo is not available in Newe Jersey but may be added at a later date if there is enough demand.

Some players reported that banks, credit card companies and payment processors were refusing to process transactions related to internet gambling. Big banks like Wells Fargo, American Express, and Bank of America are refusing online gambling transactions. Online payment processors like PayPal are also declining gambling transactions. Banks say they are concerned about liabilities like underage gambling and the fact that federal laws are vague. Steve Kenneally, the vice president of regulatory compliance at the American Banking Association told reporters “There’s still the uncertainty over Internet gambling and the liability that could fall on a bank.”

In all of the states where online gambling is legal players have reported that transactions have been declined when they tries to use their credit cards. In Nevada gaming officials are working with banks to resolve the problems players have reported. Another reason banks are refusing to process transactions is the fact that internet gambling is unregulated at the federal level. Some gaming experts say that as long as there is no federal regulation banks and credit card companies will continue to refuse gambling related transactions. Most industry experts do not believe congress will address the issue anytime soon. Partisan squabbles and congressional gridlock have made it difficult for online gaming proponents to muster enough support to pass a gambling bill. Since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act passed in 2006 there have been several attempts to overturn the federal ban on internet gambling. Recently New York Representative Peter King introduced a bill to legalize most forms of online gambling including online bingo. Senate majority leader Harry Reid has said that the political climate is nopt conducive to success.

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