Archive for the ‘Land Casinos’ Category

Comparing Online Casinos to Land-Based Casino Gambling Addiction

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

HarvardDivisionofAddictionLet’s cut to the chase. The title of this post refers to the drama of Sheldon Adelson’s war against online gambling and his tirade claiming online gambling is evil and will lead to the worst addictive form of gambling ever. This, from a man who operates one of the largest casino brands in the world, and who amassed hundreds of millions of dollars from gambling revenue.

Beyond the hypocrisy and sheer craziness of Adelson’s heightening actions of being hell-bent on eradicating online casino gambling due to unprecedented addictiveness, I wanted to look into the real deal between online wagering and land-based casino activity pertaining to addiction.

Personally, I will never forget the first time I ever visited a brick and mortar casino. It was in Las Vegas, where Adelson has several high profile casino properties. I could feel my stomach drop with anticipation and I was overwhelmed and on sensory overload. I didn’t have a bankroll to speak of, but still had visions of losing the little money I did have. And yet, I was beyond seduced by the chance of winning. Swiftly, my thoughts were not on the losing but the winning. I didn’t care what time it was or what day of the week. I was inside a casino where money was waiting to be won. At least that is what all the signs eluded to.

The physical presence of being inside that casino was like nothing else I’ve experienced while playing cards at home with friends or spinning the slots on my laptop. This casino, like so many others, was enchanting.

Since that experience, I’ve witnessed online casino gaming grow into a multi-billion dollar industry within several worldwide markets. Likewise, the gambling online industry has seen its fair share of successes and controversy. But, is it really more addictive than land-based play? Really?

Just as computers have effected other industries like shopping and social activity, the digital age has affected the gambling industry. After all, computers have become designed so that you can do almost anything from home that you can do in other consumer sectors. I know people that don’t even leave the house to do most of their shopping, including groceries.

There are many attractive nuances about online casinos and I don’t have to mention the convenience of it all. But I honestly have to say that there is nothing like walking through an actual casino. I personally would have no problem taking more risks at a land based casino. Unlike Adelson, I believe the Las Vergas Strip offers me way more trouble than playing at an online casino, where limitations are enforced much faster I might add.

Historically, there have been issues with collecting reliable data based on the addictive nature when comparing online play versus land-based play. Misreporting of statistics (intentional and unintentional) by study participants also compromises findings. Who really wants to be truthful about their behavior if what they perceive it to be is wrong (whether it truly is or not)? But, the online gambling industry is much better tracked, as all data from game play is documented by computer action. Finally, there is now an opportunity to obtain large amounts of unbiased data about gamblers as they operate in regulated gambling casinos.

Overwhelmingly, data shows that casino players online show remarkable restraint. I have a very hard time believing Adelson, an otherwise successful business man, has not seen any of the studies conducted by the Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addiction.

Harvard conducted research about internet casinos, where several general conclusions about online casino player behavior has been concluded based on analyzing data of tens of thousands of sports bettors, online casino gamblers, and poker players over a period of two years. This research was in partnership with the well known casino brand, bwin.

This specific study showed that in each gambling category, most all players gambled infrequently and in moderation, while a small fraction of online players (1-5%) showed high amounts of game play that far exceeded that of the rest of the players.

This research shows that widely available online casino activity will not likely be any societal destruction, as Adelson has claimed. What’s more, the effects of the large amounts of increase in exposure to gambling online offers are actually relatively mild. Lastly, land based casinos simply pose more distraction, which leads to unfocused decisions.

So then, what gives, Adelson?  It’s not even about the casino games is it?

NJ Online Gambling Showing Increased Earnings

Friday, March 7th, 2014

With the first online gambling revenue reports being less-than-great in New Jersey, the numbers are now beginning to look better. The latest results show growth of NJ’s iGaming market has improved in the last month. More precisely, NJ real money online casinos – all based from the Atlantic City brick and mortar casino brands – have shown an overall 9% revenue increase.

Of the now 16 casinos online available to those located within NJ state lines, a 28% gain in January (from previous 2013 numbers) took place, earning a combined to $9.5 million. As of February 2014, the same casinos generated $10.3 million in gambling revenue, creating the aforementioned 9% jump.

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement numbers may begin to stabilize soon (as some analysts are predicting), yet for the time being, revenue is still gradually increasing. While some analysts are crying out insecurities in regards to revenue, if you ask the CEO of 888 Holdings, which uses Caesars Entertainment as its land base, he’s pleased with the results thus far. After all, it is not as though the numbers are declining.

As a whole (including land-based gambling income), NJ’s 11 casinos from the fabled Atlantic City area won nearly $209.5 million in February. While this number still shows a decline in overall earnings at less than 1.5%, it also shows the bleeding is lessoning. Keeping in mind that the area had a casino closing (Atlantic Club) in January, this number is not to be scoffed at.

The Golden Nugget Atlantic City was the most impressive earner. With an increase well over 25%, this casino posted the biggest monthly gain, earning $12.5 million. The Golden Nugget holds its ability to gain customers from the now-closed Atlantic Club as its number one source of increased income. Having done so, the Golden Nugget was able to create 100 new jobs.

Other results show that Revel Casino Hotel earned $10.9 million, and the Tropicana Casino and Resort held impressively with generating $19.7 million. Respective of each casino’s numbers, this equates to about an increase of 20.7% for these two casinos.

Resorts Casino Hotel gained an 11% increase with $9.7 million in revenue, and Caesars Atlantic City was up 5.8% by earning well over $25.5 million.

Trump Casino is in the doghouse, as its NJ casinos flatlined were earnings are concerned. Both of the Trump Entertainment Resorts properties – Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and Taj Mahal – were down between 24-25%.

Atlantic City’s decade of defeat is counting on online gambling to come to its rescue. The decline in income over the last 7-8 years in particular is due mainly to the explosion of casinos in neighboring states, and was only compiled by the recession. No sooner did NJ feel some improvement with the recession when Superstorm Sandy slammed into the NJ coast, crippling the local economy as it was only starting to revive itself.

The race for supremacy in New Jersey’s aggressive gambling market remains a contest between the Borgata/PartyPoker site, and Caesars Interactive/888 and WSOP branded sites. The Borgata earned a little over $4 million online in February 2014, while Caesars Interactive earned about $3.3 million.

In the first couple of months of 2014, Atlantic City’s casinos have won $385 million at brick and mortar locations – a 7.7% decline from the same time in 2013. Online based earnings settled at $19.7 million in the first two months of this year so far. Obviously there are no numbers from this time last year to compare to. According to records, about 250,000 online gambling accounts have been created in New Jersey since the state began online casino wagering on Nov. 21, 2013.

Virgin Group Entering Online Casino Action in NJ

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Look out New Jersey (NJ), here’s Virgin Group. Shortly after initial online gambling revenue reports have come in with less than great results, we now learn there’s a new online casino by Virgin in the making for the NJ market.

Gamesys, which acquired the Virgin Games sector of the Virgin empire in 2013, is bringing the brand to the online realm in the Garden State through its partnership with the well-known Tropicana property.

While we’ve actually known the brand partnership was given the go-ahead some time ago, the online site is actually going live this week.

Online gambling began in New Jersey in late November with high hopes of it becoming the solution (or at least a big part) to Atlantic City’s gaming revenue slump dating back to 2006. While New Jersey peaked out, earning a massive $5.2 billion in that year, it nonetheless fell prey to neighboring competition from newly developed Indian casinos in Pennsylvania and New York. Even though New Jersey has been a longtime gambling destination for the East Coast, times have changed…and are still changing, indeed.

Revenue from traditional gambling last year was expected to fall to around $3 billion. The dawn of online gambling has said to be a solution; But New Jersey will have to stay ahead of the curve if that’s so. The most heavily developed online gaming state in the US, New Jersey is still struggling with competition from Delaware, which has also gone live with online casinos.

Now that Virgin Casino is opening its virtual doors this week, it will be interesting to see the second set of gaming revenue results, knowing that Atlantic City’s 12 land-based casino resorts are counting on furthered success – perhaps now more than ever. A handful of these land-based resorts have already launched over a dozen online wagering sites.

Companies like 888 Holdings, PokerStars and Gamesys Limited (which already operates the jackpotjoy.com website) have effectively launched casinos online in the state; However, traffic is not as high as initially anticipated.

Virgin Casino joins several other internet gambling sites that have been given the regulatory green-light, which include the Trump brand, Caesar’s and Borgata, the latter of which currently runs the most successful site of the lot. New Jersey is the third state to allow online gaming – following Nevada and Delaware.

In the last five weeks of 2013, New Jersey online casinos brought in just $8.4 million in revenue. But for 2014, revenue is expected to jump to as much as $500 million. And Gov. Chris Christie is hopeful the tally can climb to $1 billion.

Virgin Casino had to delay its launch of the highly anticipated debut in the New Jersey marketplace after technical issues with its online casino software were recognized during a soft run. These issues stemmed from payment and login criteria, and not the casino games. Other casinos launching in the NJ market have encountered similar bumps in the road.

As you’d expect from Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Casino will be as flashy as his approach is to most all business adventures. The first casino from the Virgin brand to take wagers outside of the UK, this casino will definitely be expected to stand out from the rest of the pack. Just think of the amazing approach the Virgin name has had on travel by airplane and you’ll understand the potential this casino will have under the Virgin brand.

One promotion at the casino is already being discussed with much ado. Tropicana’s Virgin Casino is going to provide what it calls a Community Jackpot, which rewards all players with a bit of money every time someone else playing at the online casino hits a jackpot. This is a good start to expected fun and excitement attached to Virgin anything!

At press time, it is believed that the Tropicana online casino by Virgin will have about 23 online slots and additional various casino games available. Stay tuned!

Pennsylvanians Want No More Casinos

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Legalized gaming in the Keystone State is where it’s at (well, at least according to voters who are happy with the way things are for now), as a new poll reveals that Pennsylvanians are at their limit when it comes to regulated casino gambling, online or not.

The poll taken from voters in Pennsylvania was completed by uinnipiac University, a private nonsectarian, co-educational university located in Hamden, Connecticut. The University’s poll states that by a margin of 55% to 37%, Pennsylvania voters think legal gambling in the state is a “good thing”…but only where it is now.

Pennsylvanian voters seemingly understand the importance of the tax revenue generated by the states existing land based casinos, but they draw the line at creating more casinos on land and are against online casinos.

The poll reveals that while Pennsylvanians are happy with the casinos they have, they are not willing to have one built in their own neighborhood. They also believe online casinos could lead to greater issues and addictions.

71% of those polled said that if people are going to gamble, it’s better to have Pennsylvania get the income from it, 70% said there should not be more casinos in Pennsylvania, and 57% don’t want a casino in the community where they reside.

By a margin of 62% to 33%, voters in the state are against any regulation of online casino activity and 70% stated that they believe any more casinos in the state – online or not – would lead to further gambling addiction.

Interestingly enough, the Pennsylvania casino industry has been growing very swiftly. 12 out of the 14 planned casinos in the physically well-positioned gaming state have been in business, opening their doors to millions of players from both Pennsylvania and beyond. These casinos provide a full selection of slots and certain table games and are said to have over $3.14 billion each year in total casino related revenue. This effectively makes Pennsylvania the 2nd largest casino market in the United States.

Now that neighboring New Jersey has created its successful launch of online casinos (and Delaware too), we will definitely keep a feel on the Keystones State’s pulse in this matter. It is certain that Pennsylvania does not want to lose its number 2 spot.

Pennsylvania casinos are open or planned at these locations: Parx Casino and Racing in Bensalem, Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Chester, Presque Isle Downs and Casino in Erie, Lady Luck Casino Nemacolin in Farmington, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mount Pocono, Lawrence Downs Casino and Racing Resort in New Castle, Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia, Rivers Casino in Pittsburg, The Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Washington, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre. There is one license left to award in Philly.

With all of these physical casino locations, one can’t help but feel that there is more to investigating the potential success online casinos may have on the state’s economic status. While the findings in this poll are not surprising – for or against further development of gambling – the market is obviously ready. The location of Pennsylvania shows the further potential for income from neighboring residents, just as it is for New Jersey.

Latest Wynn Possibilities in Atlantic City

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

Last month, Wynn Resorts entered the New Jersey online gambling market with surprising interest in either buying a casino in Atlantic City or partnering with an online casino brand to launch a site in New Jersey. Surprising indeed because Steve Wynn himself recently stated that New Jersey was the “enemy” in relation to the brick ‘n mortar gambling industry.

Exploring the idea of Wynn Resorts perhaps taking over the beleaguered Atlantic Club Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, I personally have less faith that Steve Wynn meant what he said. Perhaps he did for a bit – but for the brief time between his statement and the realization that properties are actually still available in New Jersey.

What if Wynn Resorts did indeed buy the Atlantic Club in Atlantic City in order to gain a foothold in New Jersey’s highly anticipated internet gaming market? After all, Wynn knows the property right? Steve Wynn actually built the Atlantic City Boardwalk’s southernmost casino property back in 1980. At the time, the property opened as the Golden Nugget. Seven years later he sold it. Since then, the casino has seen its share of name and branding changes.

As previously reported, a Wynn subsidiary discretely applied for one of New Jersey’s online gambling licenses. The Press of Atlantic City found out, however, both the Division of Gaming Enforcement and Wynn officials have remained mum on the subject. For enforcement officials, this is obviously a confidential matter. But for Wynn Resorts, mum is the word apparently, as they perhaps back-peddle on Steve Wynn’s previous comments regarding New Jersey.

A requirement in New Jersey is that online gaming providers must partner with an operating Atlantic City resort. Though all but 2 casinos in Atlantic City have entered into such partnerships, the Atlantic Club has remained on the market.

New Jersey is set to take off this coming Thanksgiving and analysts believe it will be far more profitable than Nevada’s online poker market. New Jersey has more than 9 million residents and is adjacent to New York City, Philadelphia and other heavily populated and gambling-friendly areas.

Reuters has firmly stated that Nevada’s online casino market will generate $50 million to $250 million in annual revenue while New Jersey is predicted to generate $500 million to $1 billion yearly.

Does Steve Wynn still have an affinity for the Atlantic Club despite his remarks about online gambling and New Jersey? It has been reported around Atlantic City that Wynn has regularly visited the property in the past months.

In other Atlantic City standings, PokerStars has moved on to become the online gaming partner for Resorts Atlantic City. We recently covered an article about Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings and its Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s partnership in New Jersey. Gamesys Limited of Britain has signed on with the Tropicana Atlantic City. Trump Plaza has apparently shacked-up with Betfair, and Borgata has partnered with Bwin.party of Gibraltar.

We also covered the news surrounding PaddyPower and its would-be interest in the Atlantic Club. Paddy Power passed licensure vetting in Nevada last year and has since announced interest in New Jersey. Perhaps the Atlantic Club is being wooed by both Wynn and Paddy Power?

Lastly, Landry’s Inc., the owner of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, might be eyeing a sell-out. The property, despite an expensive renovation, has not seen the revenue it needs to succeed. Also a Wynn possibility, no? The company has not made a definitive decision and may consider selling internet gaming rights on the property also. So many options, you might have better odds playing online keno.

888 Announces New Jersey Online Gambling

Monday, August 12th, 2013

Popular UK based online gambling hub, 888 has announced it will enter the New Jersey internet gambling market in order to move ahead into the swiftly approaching Fall launch of online wagering in New Jersey.

Based in London, 888 Holdings announced it will launch both online poker and casino games under its own casino brand. This announcement is not long after news about 888 regarding its other already-in-place agreement to partner with Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE; the online gaming branch of the well-known casino brand) to share its internet gaming platform. Interestingly enough, CIE is also a big player within the upcoming Atlantic City online market.

New Jersey is shaping up to take over Nevada as the number one online gambling market in the US – where betting online for real money has been legalized in a handful of states. While Nevada has already launched wagering online, only one poker room has gone live to this day: Ultimate Poker. Submerging the 888 brand heavily into the New Jersey market is indeed a very lucrative move for 888 Holdings.

Delaware has also legalized forms of online gambling, yet progress going live has been slow. Other various states are looking into legislature, including the prospects of interstate gambling. Various moves within Congress and lawmakers to create country-wide, blanketed legislature have been active, yet also unsuccessful. But most industry analysts agree that it is only a matter of time for federal regulation.

Online casino wagering was prohibited by Congress back in 2006 – a ban which dealt a major roadblock to online gaming brands like 888 (that was actively taking bets from the US market before the hammer was laid down by the Department of Justice). Since then, sluggish land-based casino revenue coupled with hungry state coffers has created a new era in the US online betting industry.

As far as 888’s provisions and partnerships go (the well-established brand that Caesars’ brings to the table), 888 vows to provide every possible form of wagering available in the New Jersey sector. Not just providing an online poker room like some other brands, 888 will provide an entire online casino suite of games. 888 is actively pursuing deals for gaming within all three US states that have legislature in place.

There certainly has been a heavily increase of interest by online casinos to enter the New Jersey market. Partnerships between brick and mortar casinos and online casino companies have been swift and abundant, save for a couple partner missteps, leading to a bit of concern that competition may get out of hand.

These new partnerships will come with some serious marketing budgets that will definitely need to be controlled. Industry estimates and forecasts for the New Jersey sector call for nearly $450 million in annual revenue. While New Jersey desperately needs the income for several reasons, forecasting may need a little re-tweaking and re-projecting as this beefed up competition will most likely and potentially generate more than the initial $450 million expected.

888’s revenue alone has already been steadily increasing as European online poker players (where gambling has been legal for quite some time) have been increasingly interested in playing poker and other casino games for real money bets. The last numbers released by 888 (2nd quarter) show a 5% increase in earnings totaling $97 million. Since that quarter (we are now in the 3rd quarter) action at 888 has shown projections that continue to see an increase.

Investors are loving 888, wherein shares equate to boosting the casino brand’s value to a reported 600 million pounds. The impending move into the US market has sparked interest with the investing community indeed.

New Jersey is set to go live with online casino activity as early as the upcoming Thanksgiving Weekend quickly approaching.

NJ Judge Hearing PokerStars Dispute With Atlantic Club

Friday, May 24th, 2013

In an increasingly bitter dispute that has been developing in recent months, a New Jersey judge has decided to hear the argument taking place between PokerStars (the world’s largest online poker site) and the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which Poker Stars is seeking to purchase.

PokerStars parent company, The Rational Group, was able to obtain a temporary restraining order on May 6, prohibiting any other company from buying the Atlantic City casino. But according to the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, the deal to sell itself to PokerStars is no longer in effect.

PokerStars vehemently disagrees. The online gaming poker room insists it has already given the Atlantic City casino $11 million of the $15 million purchase price. The large down-payment was to keep the casino in operation during what Atlantic City is witnessing to be very tough times stemming from Hurricane Sandy (among other things) last October.

Why would PokerStars want to buy this casino in the first place you ask? Back in February, many of you know that New Jersey legalized online gambling. And purchasing an Atlantic City casino would effectively provide PokerStars’ parent, The Rational Group, a platform for launching PokerStars in the Garden State, where a lucrative online gambling hub is now burgeoning.

When New jersey Governor, Chris Christie, signed legislation into law making online casino gaming legal, many stipulations were added, including one that gives land-based Atlantic City casinos the right to launch online casinos. Consequently, once PokerStars (or another approved online casino) owns a land-based casino, it can legally launch the online site and be open for business once all stipulations and licensing agreements have been completed.

While The Rational Group hasn’t had have any real trouble gaining the State’s approval for its purchase of the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, according to the casino, the deal is dead. Details surrounding this development will most likely become available once the hearing is over and the judge has heard both arguments.

At this time, we can only speculate the reasons for Atlantic Club Casino’s decision to pull out of the deal, which was in motion before Christie even signed any paperwork legalizing online poker and gambling in New Jersey. It was a preemptive move on PokerStars part due to the fact that legalization was looking like a no brainer. In other words, it was a good bet on the part of PokerStars.

Atlantic City was dealt a huge blow when Sandy rolled in – and many casinos, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel included, started to bleed cash. While some of the big name casinos and hotels may have had a bit more padding, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel found itself in need of a life raft. Most all of Atlantic City, however, was waiting with baited breath for Governor Christie to finalize the legalization of online gaming. Bringing online casino revenue into a state where its major revenue generator (Atlantic City) was failing, seemed like the logical answer. With an already liberated land-based gambling industry, why not get it together and legalize gaming online as well?

So then, what has changed between the casino and the poker room? Did the Atlantic Club Casino hotel suddenly win the lottery and erase its major losses and debt? Is there another internet endeavor on the horizon with another? It could be anybody’s guess. We will find out shortly. Stay tuned.

Bally Tech Signs Tribal Deal

Friday, March 29th, 2013

glowing ball_aBally Technologies has just inked a deal to supply its iGaming software and mobile casino software to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation (CTCR). CTCR operates 3 different casinos in the state of Washington: Mill Bay, Coulee Dame and Okanogan Bingo.

While not supplying any real details to the public as of yet, what we do know is that the deal will provide Washington casinos with online free-to-play poker, slots and various table games – a move that has many wondering if, perhaps, Washington has its eye on the prize where interstate poker is concerned. In case you’re wondering, that would be Nevada.

Interestingly enough, Nevada has legislature in place that allows the Governor of Nevada to make deals on interstate real money online poker. Effectively, Nevada is currently writing out law details regarding the interstate poker provisions that make the state eligible to enter into agreement with other states to allow online poker for real money gambling. And since California is a major candidate for interstate poker via Nevada, we gotta ask: Could Washington be gearing up as well?

While the Bally deal with CTCR only provides software for free play at this point, there is a great likelihood that the partnership will expand into real money online gambling if and when legislation to regulate online gambling is passed in Washington. As it stands, Bally’s platform will allow CTCR to provide custom iPhone, iPod and Android apps using the Bally play-for-fun platform.

The deal between the two companies represents the very first iGaming agreement announced in the state of Washington. With so much development between the online gambling and land-based casino industries, we can all but guarantee there is more to come with this new ground-breaking deal.

Bally Technologies is certainly moving and shaking. In other related news, Laura Olson-Reyes – Senior Director of Corporate Marketing and Communications with Bally – was named a 2012 Great Women of Gaming (Proven Leader) merit from Casino Enterprise Management Magazine.

New Jersey Discussing Constitutionality of Meadowlands Casino

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

New Jersey is not stranger to online gambling. Or, at least New Jersey is not stranger to considering the prospects of online gambling. Falling short of a signature from Governor Chris Christie, online gambling regulatory legislation intended to revitalize Atlantic City, horseracing and New Jersey’s brick ‘n mortar gambling industry as a whole, now appears to be taking a backseat to other plans.

In an attempt to reclaim New Jersey’s position as the premier spot for East Coast gambling, state lawmakers discussed on Thursday the merits of a constitutional amendment that would allow for a casino at the Meadowlands facility in Rutherford.  While advocates believe state residents would welcome such a move, as reported back in April, the idea has been met with strong opposition due to the perceived threat that a Meadowlands casino would pose to Atlantic City’s casino industry.

For over three decades, Atlantic City has been the only place to gamble in New Jersey – though, unfortunately for the Garden State, AC no longer enjoys the distinction of being the only East Coast city to offer legal gambling.  Newer casinos in neighboring states like Pennsylvania and Delaware have provided costly competition to Atlantic City casinos.  As a result, New Jersey finds itself now ranking fourth in the nation in terms of gambling revenue after years of following only Nevada in that category.

While discussing the state’s gambling industry, Sebastian Sinclair, president at Christiansen Capital Advisors, summed things up with, “It’s been a bad decade for New Jersey.

The addition of a Meadowlands casino is seen by many as the best option for attracting back gamblers that have strayed away to neighboring states.

If a casino were to come to the Meadowlands Sports Complex, it would join MetLife Stadium, the Izod Center and the Meadowlands Racetrack.  Advocates argue that a new casino would be the perfect compliment to a football stadium, a basketball arena and a horse racetrack.  In fact, Jeffrey Gural, the new owner of the Meadowlands Racetrack, has come out in strong favor of the idea.  Gural has even suggested that his racetrack’s long-term survival is tied to whether or not a casino comes to the Meadowlands.

One of the major obstacles facing the Meadowlands casino initiative is that Gov. Chris Christie has sided clearly against it.  The Governor has expresses his unwillingness to jeopardize an effort already underway to revitalize Atlantic City’s casino industry by creating dangerous competition within the state.

New Jersey in many ways is dependent on a vital casino industry in Atlantic City.  The casinos in Atlantic City officially generate over 30,000 jobs for the state – and that number dramatically increases when jobs created indirectly by Atlantic City casinos are factored in.

Gov. Christie has supported various state expenditures intended to help restore Atlantic City to its former glory.  One example of this was a multi-million dollar advertising campaign designed to attract gamblers back to New Jersey.  The state also provided hundreds of millions of dollars in tax incentives to help get the Revel casino, a $2.4 billion behemoth, back on track and ultimately completed.

Unfortunately, the Revel has so far disappointed in regards to projected revenues.  One might guess that this could eventually lead Gov. Christie to reconsider his position regarding the Meadowland casino proposal.  Especially when the state budget, adopted just last month, counts on nearly $300 million from casino generated revenues.

That money will need to come from somewhere.  And while at the moment, the Governor and others are firm in their position that Atlantic City casinos should not have to contend with competition from within the state.  If gambling revenues continue to decline in Atlantic City, as they have for the last six years, the Meadowlands casino concept may look more and more attractive.

Bally’s to be Nevada Gaming Board’s First Internet Supplier

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

nevada gaming control boardThe Nevada Gaming Control Board is wasting no time whatsoever in putting the wheels in motion to regulate online gambling. With their recent recommendation of an application submitted by Bally Technologies to provide B2B services to Nevada gambling operators, the Gaming Control Board seems to be playing a very strategic hand in it’s bid to become one of the first State’s to tax and regulate online gambling.

Dependent on two U.S. House bills that would give the Commerce Department the authority to permit U.S. States the right to regulate online gambling activities (other than sports betting), the path to regulation in Nevada looks very promising considering the big players already established here. While California, Florida and Massachusetts are taking similar steps to capitalize on internet betting just as soon as the green light is officially given, Nevada certainly has the most going for it in terms of the likelihood of voter approval.

The recommendation of Bally Technologies to receive an interactive online gaming license by the Nevada Gaming Control Board is just the start of what will likely amount to recommendations of other notable brick ‘n mortar casino brands, such as Caesar’s, Wynn and Boyd Gaming. The only big name likely to not show up is Sands, whose controversial owner, Sheldon Adelson, has openly opposed online gambling regulation, as he claims it foster underage gambling. While it’s painfully clear that Adelson is simply trying to protect his brick ‘n mortar interests, that’s another story for another time.

The Nevada Gaming Commission will be reviewing the Board’s recommendation of Bally Technologies on Thursday, June 21, after which a final decision will be made. When all is said and done, Bally would be licensed to supply casino operators with an open architecture software platform that will give operators custom options in building their own unique gaming package. Designed for mobile online gambling integration as well, Bally’s iGaming platform already offers their most popular games (available through iTunes), and via a recent partnership with the OnGame Network, Bally will be pooled together with what will arguably be one of the largest online poker networks around.

Again, all of this weighs on getting the necessary federal laws passed to further clarify the Wire Act. But if and when that time comes, Bally Technologies will undoubtedly be holding a strong hand dealt by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.