In addition to the usual holiday traditions, gamblers found time to create 5,000 new Internet betting accounts on Thanksgiving.
Since a test of online betting began in New Jersey on Nov. 21, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement says 32,277 had been created accounts as of Thursday. About 5,000 of those accounts were added on Thursday.
Regulators could not immediately say how many different gamblers actually made bets online. Some users have created accounts with more than one gambling site.
Statewide Internet gambling began Monday afternoon in New Jersey. It marks the biggest expansion of gambling in Garden State since the first Atlantic City casino opened in 1978.
New Jersey is the third state in the nation to offer online gambling, after Nevada and Delaware. The state allows gamblers play any of the games offered in its 12 casinos -- including card games and slots.
Matthew Pineault of Ridgewood in Bergen County, has enjoyed playing online poker with several sites, but said he favors the World Series of Poker site run by Caesars Entertainment -- a site that drew praise from many players during its first week of operation.
"I haven't had the time I would like to play, but turned my $250 deposit into almost $1,200," he said. "I requested a cash-out of my original deposit ($250) and that went fairly seamlessly. I had to send them a copy of my bank statement, but they were willing to accept a picture and that was easier for me. I still haven't seen the funds but it's only been 3 days, so no concerns yet."
Six Atlantic City casinos -- the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa; the Tropicana Casino and Resort; Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino; the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort; Bally's Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City -- were the first to be approved for online gambling in New Jersey.
The Golden Nugget Atlantic City decided to wait a week to launch its online betting while it works out last-minute problems with some systems.