AC Casino Execs Weigh In On First Week of Internet Gaming

By Lauren Wanko

Tropicana Casino and Resorts general manager says that this is exactly what Atlantic City casino’s need right now, internet gaming.

“Things are going well. We have a lot of people playing online. There’s still some challenges we’re working through as most places in town are,” said Steve Callender of Tropicana Casino and Resort.

“We’re pretty happy with the way things are going. Obviously we’ve only been open for a week and with this level of software integration there’s a few bugs that we’re learning about and testing every day, we’re fixing every day,” said Joe Lupo of the Borgata.

The main challenges casinos are facing? Geolocation. Players say they’re still getting blocked from the gaming sites even though they’re logging on in New Jersey and gamblers are having issues processing payments online.

“From a payment processing standpoint, this wasn’t legal prior to when we opened up so you have to give time for the banking industry and credit card industry to be able to go through their policy and procedures and basically authorize the payment process. So we knew that going in and that’s gonna take time,” Lupo said.

Casino executives are offering incentives and other promotions to online gamblers in the hopes of luring those players back to Atlantic City. More than 51,000 accounts were created as of this past Sunday.

“There’s more people signing up then I thought so I’m optimistic about that,” Callender said. When asked why he thinks that is, Callender said, “It’s more convenient. For the same reason we lost people in Atlantic City, because it was more convenient for them to go to Philadelphia or New York. It’s convenient to play at home as well so folks who can’t get down here now have an option.”

Gov. Chris Christie predicts online gaming in New Jersey will generate about $1 billion in casino revenue by July 1.

“Sounds like a big number to me but we’ll see. I’ve been surprised at what I’ve seen so far,” Callender said.

“It’s a lofty prediction by the governor and he, ah you know, he’s such a positive guy and everyone looks to him as the leader of the state, and we’re gonna do everything we can to meet his goal. I’ll say that,” Lupo said.

As for the first internet gaming results, the Division of Gaming Enforcement will post those results on their website in mid-January.