History was made in New Jersey today when the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa was awarded New Jersey’s first online gambling permit.
David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), ceremoniously handed the permit to Borgata President and Chief Operating Officer Tom Ballance, AP reported. The permit issuance marks another new chapter in regulated Internet gambling in the U.S.
“It’s always nice to be first in the queue,” Balance said. But unlike Nevada, the Borgata won’t necessarily get a jump on the other casinos in the state. The first batch of sites to go live is scheduled for November 26, preceded by an invite-only testing period that will commence five days earlier.
Also unlike Nevada, a full menu of online casino games will be offered in New Jersey. Nevada chose to regulate only Internet poker thus far, a decision it may come to regret as time marches on.
The Borgata has partnered with bwin.party to bring online gambling to New Jersey’s nine million residents. Since opening its doors on the Atlantic City boardwalk a decade ago, the Borgata has consistently outperformed the state’s other casinos in revenue.
That overall revenue of the state’s dozen casinos has been on the decline for seven years. Gamblers from Pennsylvania, Maryland and New York who used to make the trek to Atlantic City now have brick and mortar gambling options in their own backyards. New Jersey officials are banking on Internet gambling to revitalize the state’s gambling industry.
Expect the issuance of gambling permits to the Garden State’s other 11 casinos to follow shortly. It is unclear at this time if all 12 will be ready to launch come November 26. But the Borgata is prepared and is right on track in following its “objective of being among the first to launch online gaming in the state,” Ballance said.