Tuesday February 18 ,2014 : MOBILE USAGE TO ACCELERATE NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMBLING
Predictions on the growth of mobile gambling encourage Atlantic City operators.
The growing use of mobile devices to play games and place bets should accelerate the growth of the nascent online gambling industry in New Jersey, according to analysts and casino executives interviewed Monday by the Associated Press news agency.
Borgata casino executive Joe Lupo told AP that mobile applications will play a significant role in online wagering, encouraging land casino owners in Atlantic City who have entered the world of online gambling.
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa began offering gambling Monday over Android cellphones on 3G and 4G networks, and additionally allows phones using WiFi connections to access its online gambling sites.
January's $9.5 million represented a 28 percent increase in New Jersey revenues, but Lupo said those numbers don't take into account the vast potential of gambling over mobile devices and phones, which is starting to happen.
The Golden Nugget Atlantic City plans to launch online and mobile services next month, and its head of e-gaming, Thomas Winter, said smartphones and tablet devices will account for more than 20 percent of the casino's Internet gambling revenue this year and more than 50 percent within three years.
"Cellphones can be used for online wagering – and are being used – so long as they have a WiFi connection so they can pass the geolocation requirements," Lisa Spengler, a spokeswoman for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, explained to Associated Press.
She said the gaming enforcement division is working with geolocation technology providers to develop a solution that would enable cellphones to connect to gambling sites without WiFi connections so long as they meet certain technical standards.
The Taj Mahal and its Ultimate casino partner and the Tropicana and its Gamesys partner are approved for cellphone use through cellphone networks, Spengler revealed.
Caesars Interactive, which runs online gambling for two of the company's four Atlantic City casinos, has had a mobile app for its World Series of Poker brand since December, and is working toward approval of similar apps for its CaesarsCasino.com and HarrahsCasino.com sites.
Seth Palansky, a spokesman for Caesars Interactive, told AP that 22 percent of play on the WSOP site comes from mobile devices.
"With tablet growth increasing and smartphone adoption continuing to reach more and more, it is clear the future of the majority of gaming experiences will be on these devices," he said.
Fitch Ratings is also optimistic on the impact of mobile devices, saying that it expects the continued roll-out of mobile services to speed up the growth of Internet gambling in New Jersey.