Palansky agrees. “Priority number 1
was just getting there for November,” he
says. He wants to see more emphasis on
converting online customers into Atlantic City visitors.
Tropicana general manager Steve
Callender says he noticed one of his casino’s biggest online players was a Hoboken customer who hadn’t been to the
Atlantic City casino in five years. (Online
players must provide substantial personal information when they sign up.) Callender called the player to thank him for
his online business and found out that he
had been frequenting New York casinos.
As a result of the outreach, the high roller brought a party of 12 to the Tropicana
for a visit.
“That’s how this thing is supposed to
work,” Callender says.
One bright spot has been substantial
out-of-state participation from players
best described as online-poker tourists.
Some websites report as much as 15 percent of their action is from non-New Jersey residents who either cross into the
state to play on the Internet, or perhaps
just crave more action while staying at
the casino hotels.
Industry figures are particularly impressed with how quickly revenue from
online games—slots, blackjack, roulette—
rocketed past poker.
At launch, much of the attention
had been on poker, largely because
that was where player money was
flowing before the federal government
shut down the most popular offshore
websites in April 2011. Poker players—
such as Kerstetter—were expected to
be early and enthusiastic adopters of
the legit sites. But the casino games
are proving more popular.
“Our initial revenue results for the
first few months of operation have
shown decisively that casino games are
far ahead of poker in revenues, with
between 65 and 70 percent of revenue
derived from games other than poker,”
says state gaming regulator Rebuck. “As
new content is submitted, approved and
offered, and as people become familiar
with the technology, we believe there
will be a continued strong upswing in
online gaming revenues.”
Rob Davies, a 25-year-old from Hills-
dale in Bergen County, says he plays ca-
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