Casino companies and their Web partners will have little time to waste if they want to cash in on what is expected to be New Jersey’s next gambling craze — Internet wagering on slot machines and table games.
On Friday, New Jersey regulators set June 30 as the deadline for casinos to submit their requests for online gambling permits. In addition, online vendors who form partnerships with the casinos have until July 29 to file their applications for Internet licenses.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, which regulates Atlantic City’s $3 billion casino industry, has set those deadlines to give it enough time to conduct background investigations for licenses before Internet gambling goes live late this year. Only the companies that meet “the highest standards of integrity” will be approved as casino Web partners, New Jersey regulators say.
“The Division of Gaming Enforcement is fully committed to a robust Internet gaming system in New Jersey that promotes public confidence in the effectiveness and integrity of the regulatory process and oversight of gaming operations,” David Rebuck, the agency’s director, said in a statement.
Nov. 26 remains the state’s formal date for launching Internet gambling. However, it is not yet clear whether all 12 Atlantic City casinos will be able to make that date or will wait until later to offer online bets on their slot machines and table games.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa plans to go live Nov. 26 through its previously announced partnership with Bwin.party, said Joe Lupo, the casino’s senior vice president of operations.
Gibraltar-based Bwin.party is one of the online gambling giants in Europe. Foreign companies are allowed to seek Internet licenses under New Jersey’s regulations.
Lupo said Borgata’s Internet gambling operation will be similar to the full-service sites Bwin.party provides in Europe. The Borgata-Bwin.party partnership combines a European powerhouse with Atlantic City’s top-grossing casino.
“We’re very excited,” Lupo said. “We’re very excited not only about our partnership with Bwin.party, but also about continuing to be the leader in New Jersey.”
Caesars Entertainment Corp., the world’s largest casino company, is partnering with 888 Holdings for Internet gambling at the Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat casinos in Atlantic City, company spokesman Gary Thompson said. Based in Gibraltar, 888 Holdings operates high-profile gambling websites in Europe.
Revel, Atlantic City’s newest casino, has not yet entered into any partnerships for Internet gambling. Jeff Hartmann, the casino’s interim CEO, said Revel’s board of directors is evaluating its options.
Resorts Casino Hotel is not disclosing its plans at this time for online gambling options, spokeswoman Courtney Birmingham said.
Other Atlantic City casinos did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday about their Internet gambling plans.
Internet betting represents the biggest expansion of gambling in Atlantic City since the land-based casinos began operating in 1978. In New Jersey, Internet gambling is expected to provide a huge boost for the casinos, with revenue estimates ranging anywhere from $200 million to $2 billion annually. New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have legalized Internet gambling.
New Jersey will initially allow online wagering on computers and mobile devices located only within its borders, although multistate Internet agreements may be explored later. Gamblers will set up accounts to play on casino websites. New Jersey regulators say there will be safeguards to prevent cheating and underage gambling.
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