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Internet gambling seen as big boost to NJ casinos

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm •  Published: February 28, 2013
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The law restricts Internet gambling, at least for now, to players physically located within New Jersey's borders. But it includes provisions for allowing the state to join with other states or even foreign countries where Internet gambling is legal, provided that New Jersey gambling regulators approve. Betting won't start for at least three months and as long as nine months, depending on when the state Division of Gaming Enforcement feels the system is ready.

Holloway said New Jersey's new law offers players much more than the online poker recently legalized by Nevada; New Jersey players will be able to place online bets on any game currently offered at the casinos, including slots, roulette, blackjack and other table games.

She said Caesars Entertainment is likely to be the biggest beneficiary of the New Jersey law. It owns four of Atlantic City's 12 casinos, representing 40 percent of the market. It has strong brands in Caesars and the World Series Of Poker, and a relationship with 888 Holdings Public Limited Company, a popular online gambling company, she said.

Boyd Gaming and MGM International, which jointly own The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa also stand to benefit, Holloway wrote.

"Borgata has a strong market position in Atlantic City and Boyd has a joint venture with bwin.party Digital Entertainment, one of the world's largest publicly traded online gaming companies, that operates the PartyPoker online brands" she wrote.

Since the New Jersey law was enacted, stock prices of many companies expected to be players in the online gambling market have risen. They include social media companies like Zynga Inc., which is seen as a likely online partner for casino companies interested in expanding online.

Dennis Farrell, a casino analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, estimated in January that online gambling in New Jersey could be a $1.5 billion annual business within five years.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC