Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget is the second NJ casino to be granted an Internet gambling permit by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
Struggling marina-based Atlantic City casino The Golden Nugget was granted NJ’s second online gambling on Wednesday. The permit, which was awarded by the DGE will allow the casino to conduct Internet gambling operations beginning on New Jersey’s go-live date of November 26th. The Borgata, in conjunction with bwin.party – provider of PartyPoker – was awarded the first permit last week.
The Nugget will offer Internet gambling under its own brand, but will use Bally Technologies as its online gaming provider. A soft invitation-only launch is scheduled for November 21st, and if all goes well, the site will be open to anyone residing within New Jersey’s borders five days later.
Despite popular belief, there is little benefit to receiving a gambling permit early. All casinos must adhere to the state’s regulations, meaning that they will not be allowed to take online bets until the go-live date. If anything, it positions the casino in a place where they can market their online brand early. The announcement also gives New Jersey residents the security of knowing that they will have at least two places to play online poker come next month.
New Jersey is the third state in the nation to allow online gambling, following in the footsteps of Nevada and Delaware. In an ideal setting, Internet gambling will create jobs and an additional stream of revenue for Atlantic City’s struggling casinos, which after pulling in $5.2 billion in 2006, only managed to rake in a tad more than $3 billion last year. Projections for this year are looking even worse.
There are some that speculate that live players will just begin gambling online, replacing one form of gambling for another. If this is true, Atlantic City revenues will remain relatively stagnant, and live casino jobs will be lost. To date, thousands of jobs have already been lost, as players have migrated to new casinos located in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Conversely, Internet gambling allows players from all over the state, including populated areas like the NYC suburbs, to log in from a remote destination and play their favorite games. Many of these potential players would not be inclined to make the more than two-hour drive to Atlantic City, at least not on a frequent basis.
The Golden Nugget Atlantic City has already devoted a portion of its site to play-money online poker. Tournament winners are gifted with free accommodations at select Golden Nugget casinos and the opportunity to win other awards. When its real-money site goes live, all table games and slots currently available at the casino will be accessible online.