New Jersey online gambling regulators plan to go live with legal intrastate betting sites by the end of November. The deadline follows the state of Delaware, the only other state with fully regulated online gambling where sites will go live by the end of October.
New Jersey and Delaware legalized online gambling despite the US government’s ban on the practice in 2006. The states followed the lead of Nevada, which legalized online poker at the end of 2012 and went live with a number of poker sites earlier this year. However, unlike Nevada where only online poker was made legal, New Jersey and Delaware legalized most internet casino games.
Delaware intends to only allow residents in the state’s jurisdiction to bet on the online sites. On the other hand, New Jersey wants to authorize intrastate betting with other states that legalized online gambling. New Jersey regulators recognize the potential revenue available through legal and taxable online gambling, adopting an approach similar to Canada where citizens across the country can bet on internet sites.
The revenue streams are particularly important for New Jersey’s casinos in Atlantic City, which continue to struggle financially in today’s gambling environment. The New Jersey law requires online casino operators to partner with an Atlantic City casino, and share the revenues generated online with the brick and mortar establishments.
Operators within the US and around the world entered into negotiations with Atlantic City casinos throughout the year. New Jersey is unquestionably the largest state with legalized online gambling, and operators are eager to set up shop in the state. Some of the world’s largest gaming sites including 888, bwin.party, and PokerStars negotiated, with varying degrees of success, to obtain a New Jersey online gambling license.
The negotiations also saw many operators attempt to purchase Atlantic City casinos, many of which remain financially unstable. Rumours are floating around that Steve Wynn, former owner of the Golden Nugget casino which later became the Atlantic Club Casino, is interested in buying back the casino. Wynn’s company, Wynn Resorts Ltd, is seeking an online gambling license, and would use the Atlantic Club as a host facility to go live with the gaming site.
The late November deadline for the live sites ensures a very tense and busy few months for New Jersey and the online gambling community at large.