Last week, four Atlantic City casinos became the first to win approval for Internet gaming operating licenses in the state of New Jersey. The Division of Gaming Enforcement first approved the Borgata, then the Golden Nugget, Trump Plaza Hotel & Casino, and Trump Taj Mahal followed. Finally, the Tropicana Casino & Resort was recently awarded a license as well.
<h2>Partners Require Licensing Too</h2>
With little more than 30 days before the trial launch period opens on November 21 and the hard launch for online gaming sites occurs on November 26, none of those casinos’ partners have yet been granted licenses. Borgata must await a license for bwin.party, Golden Nugget can’t proceed without Bally Technologies, Trump Plaza with Betfair, Trump Taj Mahal with Ultimate Gaming, and Tropicana with Gamesys.
<h2>No License Needed for Online Marketing</h2>
This does not mean that companies aren’t confident of their eventual approval, though. Betfair has already begun its marketing process, which includes a website with a mailing list along with Facebook and Twitter accounts. Others like Ultimate Gaming and bwin.party seem sure of their readiness for the launch date and are going forward with preparations in anticipation of the end of November. Ultimate Gaming, parent company of Ultimate Poker which launched in Nevada in April, has the potential of being the most prepared after having dealt with the Nevada Gaming Commission for longer than most other companies. Plus, they have the experience of operating for over six months.
<h2>New Jersey Eyes Interstate Options</h2>
New Jersey lawmakers are looking forward as well. Beyond the anticipation of the upcoming launch of Internet gaming in their own state, they are already considering options with regards to sharing liquidity with other states like Nevada and Delaware, which plans to launch its online gaming platform on October 31.
State Assemblyman John Amodeo spoke to the Associated Press recently about a bill that was proposed in the New Jersey state legislature earlier this year that could be given attention sometime after November. The bill will allow hardware and software for online gaming to be operated outside of Atlantic City casinos, as long as the equipment is located within the resort’s borders. Not only will this offer more room for operations, Amodeo says it could also make those areas a hub for multistate online gaming. “Ultimately, we could see Las Vegas handle everything west of the Mississippi, and Atlantic City could handle everything east of the Mississippi. This is that big. It has that kind of potential,” said Amodeo. He suggested that the passage of such a bill could indicate to Nevada and New Jersey that interstate compacts are ready to be put on the table. The shared liquidity could increase revenues for all involved and provide some shared responsibility for the operations of the industry within the United States.