IT'S OFFICIAL – NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMING GOES LIVE ON NOVEMBER 26
New Jersey Gaming Enforcement Division says "soft" action for invited players can start Nov. 21st to test systems
After months of conjecture on whether New Jersey regulators will be ready to push the go button on New Jersey internet gambling on November 26, the state Gaming Enforcement Division confirmed Friday that it's prepared, and that licensed operators will be able to start up for invited guests only in a five day soft launch to test systems on November 21, followed by a full launch on November 26 if all goes well.
A Division spokesman told the Associated Press news agency that gamblers would have to be physically located within New Jersey's boundaries to play.
The news was greeted with enthusiasm by Atlantic City operators, most of whom have entered into partnership agreements with experienced online gambling firms.
"I think this is going to be a significant revenue stream," said Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts. "It has the potential to make up 20 percent of our revenue."
Griffin said details were awaited from the regulator on how the soft-launch guests are to be chosen, but opined that it would have to be a significant number to make tests credible.
Atlantic City's casino revenue has plunged from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006 to a little more than $3 billion last year and could dip below that mark by the end of this year, AP reports, adding that thousands of jobs in the land casino sector have been lost due to competition from neighbouring states like Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland.
The Gaming Enforcement Division spokesman confirmed that New Jersey online gambling regulations will come into force on October 21.
Nine of the city's 12 casinos have acknowledged lining up partners for Internet gambling, and a 10th is widely rumoured to have selected a partner.
Leading European internet gambling companies are partnering with some Atlantic City casinos in the new wave of gambling, including:
* Gamesys-JackpotJoy.com with Tropicana Casino and Resort has joined with Gamesys Limited, which runs the jackpotjoy.com
* Caesars Entertainment's four casinos with 888 Holdings.
* Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment with the Borgata
* Pokerstars with Resorts Casino.
* US online gambling firm Ultimate Gaming with the Taj Mahal,
* Betfair and Trump Plaza (still to be confirmed).
* Golden Nugget with US company Bally Technologies.