In this week's edition of Inside Gaming, we take a look at the launch of online gaming in New Jersey, Massachusetts qualifying two casino developers, and a good month for Las Vegas, Nevada.
Online Gaming On Schedule in New Jersey
New Jersey residents and visitors will be allowed to start gambling online starting Nov. 26. Prior to the launch, there will be a five-day trial period to make sure the online systems are working properly.
On Friday, the Gaming Enforcement Division told The Associated Press that Atlantic City casinos may begin a “soft play” period on Nov. 21 for invited guests. If the soft open goes well, and there are no issues, the casinos will be allowed to open their virtual doors at 9 a.m. EDT on Nov. 26.
“I think this is going to be a significant revenue stream,” said Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts, which operates two casinos in AC – Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and Trump Taj Mahal. “It has the potential to make up 20 percent of our revenue.”
In July, Ultimate Poker, the first company to launch real-money online poker in Nevada, partnered up with the Trump Taj Mahal. Other partnerships include:
- The four Caesars Entertainment properties with 888 Holdings
- Resorts Casino Hotel with Rational Group
- Borgata Hotel & Casino with bwin.party
- Tropicana Casino and Resort with Gamesys Limited
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City with Bally Technologies
Revel Casino Hotel and Atlantic Club Casino Hotel have not made their online plans public.
Regulators have not yet explained how guests will be selected to participate in the trial period, but there will have to be a significant number to test the system’s capabilities.
Atlantic City’s casino revenue has fallen from $5.2 billion in 2006 to a little more than $3 billion in 2012. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, 2013 could yield less revenue than 2012, and thousands of casino jobs and gamblers have been lost to Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland.
Courier-Post has more.
Two Gambling Bids Qualify in Mass.
On Thursday, Massachusetts gambling regulators said that Mohegan Sun has cleared a required background check and can continue its pursuit of a resort casino in Palmer, Mass.
A five-member gambling commission voted unanimously to allow the Connecticut casino operator to continue their plans. Agency investigators and Mass. state police didn’t uncover anything that would disqualify the company from bidding.
According to the report, Mohegan and its affiliates were found to “have the requisite financial stability, availability of suitable financial resources, integrity and responsibility, and have demonstrated sound business experience, good character and personal integrity.”
Mohegan Sun is the first potential Mass. operator to complete the panel’s two-phase application process. There is one more hurdle to clear, a Nov. 5 referendum in Palmer, before it can bid for the sole casino license designated for western Mass. per the 2011 gambling law.
“Our ability to transition from tribal to commercial had a lot to do with our level of compliance and the way we operate in Connecticut and the way we operate everywhere,” said Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the tribal gambling authority.
Mohegan’s likely competitor in the region is MGM Resorts International, which has proposed a casino in Springfield. MGM is in the middle of the two-phase process – the commission’s background checks are ongoing.
The commission also announced that Penn National Gaming has cleared a background check and may move forward to big on a slots parlor at the Plainridge harness race track in Plainville.
Penn National and their two competitors, Raynham and Leominster are expected to file formal applications to the commission by Friday.
For more, head to Boston.com.
Las Vegas Strip Shows Improvement
The Gaming Control Board of the state of Nevada released the August revenues and collections report this week, and the state’s non-restricted gaming licenses reported a gaming win of $955,281,446. This is a 11.17% increase compared to August 2012, when licenses reported a gaming win of $859,261,683.
For the fiscal year (July 1 through Aug. 31), the state’s gaming win has increase .85%.
The largest change from 2012 to 2013 came on the Las Vegas Strip. Licenses on the strip reported a win of $589,021,971 – a 19.98% increase from 2012. Clark County as a whole saw an increase of 12.34% from 2012, reporting a gaming win of $816,753,285.
The state collected $51,356,197 in fees during the month of September based upon the taxable revenues generated in August. That represents a 3.46% increase ($1,715,322) form 2012.
For the entire report, click here.
Photo courtesy of worldofsighbury.com