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Online Gamblers Near N.J. Borders May Be Shut Out By Digital Fences

Test Of Online Betting System Begins This Week
Online Gambling (file/credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

Online Gambling (file/credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) – The technology designed to verify that people gambling online in New Jersey are truly within the state’s borders actually may shut some of them out of the action.

A five-day, invitation-only test of online betting begins Thursday.

Technology companies working with the Atlantic City casinos tell The Associated Press they intentionally set their digital fences slightly away from the edge of New Jersey’s borders.

The result will be small no-play zones that gamblers will have to leave temporarily if they want to bet online.

The width of the zones will vary. Regulators say someone who is shut out of one casino’s site might be able to access another’s.

The tech companies say they’re erring on the side of caution to prevent the casinos from being fined for allowing unauthorized gamblers.

With Internet gambling set to go online in the Garden State, some addiction experts have come out and said the idea of it makes them anxious.

As WCBS 880′s Monica Miller reported, placing a bet will be as easy as a click of the mouse.

“You don’t have to go no place. You wake up in the middle of the night, you have an urge to gamble, you’re in your birthday suit and you get on the Internet and you gamble,” Arnie Wexler, former head of New Jersey’s Council on Compulsive Gambling, told Miller.

New Jersey is extending its self-exclusion list to allow people to ban themselves from online betting.

But Wexler said it’s not a safe bet to stop an addicted gambler.

“I know many people that were in recovery or put their name on the exclusion list that are in casinos gambling today,” he told Miller.

New Jersey, like many other states, allows people who feel they have a gambling problem to place their names on a list of those who are not allowed to enter any of Atlantic City’s 12 casinos.

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