Users of gaming sites operated by the Borgata in Atlantic City, N.J., have created more than 20,000 accounts to bet real money online in New Jersey, since the state's approval of Internet gambling in late November, the casino's chief operating officer told CNBC on Thursday.
Tom Ballance—who's also the president of Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa—said in a "Squawk Box" interview that online gaming in New Jersey has exceeded expectations.
"Borgata was uniquely positioned to be at the forefront, primarily because of efforts by our managing partner, Boyd Gaming Corporation. Boyd's strategy is to engage in online gaming nationwide," he explained. "We weren't out hunting for a service provider, when others were. We were all set up and ready to go."
Internet betting is not a threat to brick-and-mortar casinos, Ballance argued. "When we match up databases, the great majority of players who were playing online have not been to Borgata in well over a year. And the vast majority have made fewer than two trips in the past year. So it's a different customer."
There's also a different demographic for the online gambler, he contended. "It skews more male than the conventional brick-and-mortar customer."
Answering critics who say Internet gaming makes it too easy to bet since gamblers don't have to leave their homes, Ballance said: "Online we actually have more controls. ... You don't extend credit online. You've got to fund your account somehow ... through your checking account or through a credit card."