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Amodeo Believes Atlantic City Could Handle All Internet Gaming East of the Mississippi

New Jersey

According to the Press of Atlantic City, earlier this week New Jersey Assemblyman John Amodeo told the “World Regulatory Briefing USA focusing on iGaming” conference in Philadelphia that a New Jersey bill could allow the state to establish a central hub for multistate online gaming. New Jersey could then sell rights to other states to run their online gaming operations out of the hub.

The bill would allow for Internet gaming hardware and software in New Jersey, which currently must be located inside an Atlantic City casino, to instead be located somewhere within the resort’s borders.

“Ultimately, we could see Las Vegas handle everything west of the Mississippi, and Atlantic City could handle everything east of the Mississippi,” Amodeo said. “This is that big. It has that kind of potential.”

New Jersey is set to begin offering online gambling on Nov. 21 through a trial period. If all goes well, less than a week later, on Nov. 26, New Jersey residents and visitors within state lines will be allowed to participate in full online gaming. Once up and running, interstate compacts are expected to form, which would allow for larger player pools.

New Jersey Assemblyman John Amodeo. Photo courtesy of
New Jersey Assemblyman John Amodeo. Photo courtesy of

“If you have interstate, it has to be a collaboration. It has to work for all,” said James McHugh, a commissioner with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission. He went on to address suitability issues across state and casino licensing. “It doesn’t make any sense to continue to spend dollars to redo what has already been done.”

While Nevada was the first to launch online gaming, New Jersey is clearly the test subject for other states, such as neighboring Pennsylvania.

“It may be that [Pennsylvania] will wait and see long enough to see how New Jersey makes it work... and to see if there’s going to be any damage done by [online gambling] to the brick-and-mortar casino industry,” said Bill Ryan, chairman of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

New Jersey has already awarded permits to five operators this month, with the first going to Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino have also received licenses, while the Tropicana Casino and Resort was issued a license on Monday.

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