As part of the ongoing shake-up of US online gaming laws, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, has been awarded the state’s first online gambling permit. A trial period will begin on 21 November, with full operations expected to go live five days later on 26 November.
Borgata has gone into partnership with bwin.party in the venture which, according to Borgata president Tom Ballance, demonstrates the company’s commitment to online gaming.
A full range of Pokies and table games will become available for New Jersey residents and visitors to play online, as the state becomes only the third in the US to offer online gambling, after Nevada (which only permits online poker) and Delaware. Players will have to be physically within New Jersey’s borders in order to be able to play online, although it will not be necessary to be resident there.
The aim behind the move has been to give a boost to New Jersey’s flagging casino industry, although concern has been expressed that players will simply leave the tables for their laptops, leading to job losses amongst casino workers in a state that can ill afford a higher unemployment rate. Part of the reason behind the drop in turnover in New Jersey casinos over the past seven years has been the fact that residents in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland now have many more options closer to home.
The Borgata, Atlantic City’s most successful casino in terms of revenue, has been in business for the last ten years, and in the eyes of many was the logical choice to be awarded the first online casino permit, although in reality there is probably not a great deal of commercial benefit to be derived from its pioneering position. It is expected that other casinos in Atlantic City will also be in a position to offer online gaming when it officially begins on November 26.
However, Tom Ballanace has said of the move, “It’s always nice to be first in the queue. Borgata and bwin.party are aggressively pursuing our objective of being among the first to launch online gaming in the state. We believe online gaming is an exciting growth opportunity for New Jersey’s gaming industry, one that will generate significant benefits for the state as New Jersey assumes a leadership role in this emerging form of gaming entertainment.”
The US online gaming industry is predicted by analysts to be worth in excess of NZD$8.7 billion by 2017.
The Borgata casino already offered ‘On-Room Gambling’ as you can see in this video: