ATLANTIC CITY — Virgin Group will become the latest company to enter New Jersey’s online gambling industry with the launch Friday of virgincasino.com.
Virgin Casino will launch in partnership with Gamesys, the online gambling partner of Tropicana Casino & Resort. The website will be one of 15 sites approved for play in New Jersey.
The site began testing during New Jersey’s soft launch in November, but opted to hold off on a full launch to allow more time to address issues with geolocation and payment processing, said Gamesys COO Lee Fenton. Gamesys was founded in 2001. Currently operating in the United Kingdom, its leading brand Jackpotjoy has more than 4 million players.
“We wanted to refine the experience and make sure it was as good as it could possibility be for the customer,” Fenton said.
The casino will offer more than 30 games, including blackjack, roulette, baccarat and slots. It also offers a community jackpot, which awards $20,000 even after a player hits the grand prize.
“We hope to provide New Jersey players with a globally leading, safe, fun and rewarding online gambling experience,” Virgin Group founder Richard Branson said.
Players must be within the state’s borders to access online gaming. Companies initially experienced some difficulties with geolocation technology, akin to an invisible fence surrounding the state, and keeping out players from outside of New Jersey.
Under New Jersey law, online gambling companies must team with an Atlantic City casino to offer online gaming in the state. Currently seven of Atlantic City’s 11 casinos have online gambling permits.
Data released earlier this month show that New Jersey saw $8.4 million in online gambling revenue from the Nov. 21 soft launch through Dec. 31. Casinos said they were satisfied with that result and expect the numbers to grow.
Still, legislators have said it’s a near impossibility that New Jersey will meet Gov. Chris Christie’s projection of $1 billion in online revenue by the end of the fiscal year.
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