Guests at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa can enjoy breakfast in bed — and betting in bed.
In good news for bettors and couch potatoes alike, Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino has decided to continue testing on a new mobile gambling system that allows hotel guests to play slot machines and video poker games in the privacy of their rooms.
Called “eCasino,” customers use the television sets in their rooms to place their bets and play the games. Borgata is the only Atlantic City casino to have in-room gambling.
Introduced in February, the new system underwent a 90-day trial period to test its capabilities and popularity among customers. Borgata has just received approval from New Jersey casino regulators to extend the test period to Aug. 1.
“The first 90 days were very successful,” said Joe Lupo, Borgata’s senior vice president of operations.
Lupo explained that the additional testing allows Borgata and its technology partner, Allin Interactive Corp., to expand the software to include promotional credits for slot machine play. Previously, hotel guests could accrue eCasino rewards for such things as lodging, dining and entertainment, but could not earn free slot dollars, Lupo noted.
“We’re looking to expand the use of eCasino with different types of games, new investments and promotional opportunities,” he said.
Borgata regards eCasino as the first step toward Internet gambling, which was legalized in New Jersey in February. Starting Nov. 26, Atlantic City casinos will be allowed to launch websites for online wagers on their slot machines and table games. However, it is not yet clear whether any of the 12 casinos will be ready by that date.
Borgata has made it clear it wants to be among the first casinos to introduce Internet gambling but has not yet announced a start-up date. Lupo said the in-room gambling system is a prelude to full-fledged online wagering.
“We think it serves as a great foundation for moving forward with Internet gambling,” he said.
The eCasino system actually is an offshoot of yet another type of gambling — mobile gambling — which was approved by New Jersey lawmakers last year. Eventually, casinos are expected to introduce mobile gambling for smartphones and other hand-held electronic devices. Lupo said Borgata has not yet decided whether to expand its eCasino concept to other forms of mobile gambling.
To play eCasino, customers must have a My Borgata rewards card. They must also set up an “eWallet” account by making a cash deposit on the casino floor. New Jersey regulations limit mobile gambling to $2,500 per day.
Guests simply select “in-room gaming” using the TV’s remote control. Once they input the PIN number from their My Borgata card, they are given a password for their room. Then, by using the remote control, they can start playing slot machines and video poker on the TV.
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