New Jersey gaming regulators have announced that 37 license applications to participate in the state’s online gambling scheme have been submitted.
That will likely not remain a fixed number as applications are still being accepted. However, those gaming entities who do apply beyond the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s deadline of July 29 are not guaranteed to be included in the anticipated launch date of November 26.
The DGE will not provide a list of companies who submitted timely applications or letters of intent, preferring instead to release that information on a piecemeal basis after individual approvals have been granted. A partial list can be compiled simply by documenting those gaming companies known to have entered into partnership agreements with Atlantic City casinos.
Those entities include 888 Holdings, bwin.party, Betfair, Ultimate Gaming, Bally Technologies, Gamesys, and PokerStars. All applicants will be investigated by state gaming officials, with some held under a microscopic eye perhaps more so than others. PokerStars will likely receive considerable scrutiny, as their post-UIGEA dealings with the U.S. marketplace have made them a target of competitors. Expect the American Gaming Association to continue lobbying efforts against their approval.
The DGE has released the number of applicants in each specific gaming service category. The bulk of the applications, 21, applied for a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License (CSIE), which generally means providing gaming software to one of the 12 Atlantic City casinos. Twelve companies seek a CSIE license of an ancillary nature, with payment processing and identity verification companies typically falling under this category. And finally, four applicants filed under the Vendor Registrant option, which includes services tied in with telecommunications and patron interaction.
New Jersey gaming officials have a busy road ahead. It’s safe to assume that a number of them will be working overtime in order to prepare for the late November launch date that is now less than four months away. Let’s hope the excitement surrounding the Garden State will persuade other states to also take the leap into regulating online poker and gambling.