By Sue Zeidler
LOS ANGELES Oct 9 Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa,
owned by Boyd Gaming Corp's and MGM Resorts,
said it received the first Internet gaming permit ever in New
Jersey from the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement.
New Jersey last February became the third state after Nevada
and Delaware to legalize online gambling, but the casino
industry views New Jersey as the most lucrative opportunity
based on size and the fact its law encompasses many forms of
gambling, while Nevada's regulations, by contrast, allows online
Nevada was the first to go live with online gambling in
April when Station Casinos launched the first offering known as
UltimatePoker.com. New Jersey is expected to go live in late
November with Internet gaming.
Borgata, one of the 12 hotel-casinos in New Jersey's
Atlantic City, said it had worked closely with the division
throughout the process. A spokeswoman for the division confirmed
it was the first Internet gaming permit to be issued by the
The gaming enforcement division has said Internet gambling,
limited to the 12 hotel-casinos and their partners, will begin
in New Jersey on Nov. 26, after a trial period to make sure
things work properly.
Analysts estimate that Nevada's online gambling market will
yield $50 million to $250 million in annual revenue, while New
Jersey's will generate $500 million to $1 billion yearly.
Other operators that applied to offer online gaming include
Caesars Entertainment ; Donald Trump's Trump
Entertainment Resorts; the Tropicana Casino and Resort, sold in
a bankruptcy sale to a group of creditors led by Carl Icahn in
2009; and The Golden Nugget, owned by Landry's Inc.
Off-shore poker websites such as PokerStars were the forces
behind the last online poker boom, starting around 2003. But
that all changed on April 15, 2011, which is known in the
industry as "Black Friday," when the U.S. Department of Justice
indicted the founders of several sites on charges of bank fraud,
money laundering and illegal gambling offenses.
The sites were closed to U.S. online players, and now
companies such as PokerStars are trying re-enter the market
through potential partnerships in the United States.
Resorts Casino Hotel has joined with PokerStars, which had
tried to buy the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel earlier this year
before the deal fell apart.
The trade group for the U.S. Casino industry, the American
Gaming Association, asked New Jersey regulators in March to
reject a petition by PokerStars for interim authorization to buy
the Atlantic Club, a small casino in Atlantic City.
PokerStars has said its deal with Resorts is pending
approval by the New Jersey regulators.
The Borgata is partnering with Bwin.party Digital
Entertainment Plc for its online gambling offering. The
state's other casinos will also partner with online gaming
"This is a big step towards the opening of the regulated
market for online gaming in New Jersey next month," said a
spokesman for Bwin.Party.
Gamblers would have to be physically in New Jersey to play.
"We're location-enabling Boyd and other applicants there.
New Jersey is aggressively moving forward," said Rip Gerber,
founder and CEO of Locaid, which helps companies locate their
customers, employees and assets through location technologies.