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Two Caesars casinos ready to go in New Jersey
With just one day to go before the online gambling trial period starts in New Jersey, the regulators have finally given Caesars Interactive Entertainment the green light. The Division of Gaming Enforcement released the latest list of approved operators on Wednesday and it included two of the four casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment in Atlantic City, bringing the total to seven authorized casinos for the soft launch.
The interactive branch of Caesars was also found worthy of being part of the New Jersey online gambling industry and things seem to be on path for the November 26 launch date.
With Caesars and Bally’s now approved, the WSOP.com real money online poker site that was launched in Nevada a few months ago will make its way to residents of New Jersey by the end of the month. The player pools will be limited to each state for now, until an intrastate compact is made between Nevada and New Jersey. This is expected to happen next year as Nevada has already passed the needed legislature to share its player pool and online offer.
The drawback being that 888 Holdings will also benefit from the license granted to Bally’s and will launch its own branded poker site in the state. If Nevada had Ultimate Poker enjoying almost half a year without any competition, the New Jersey market is shaping up to be a very tough one, with plenty of options for players to enjoy right from the start.
The other two casinos owned by Caesars in the gambling city remain a mystery as the operator has not revealed any information with these properties.
Still no luck for PokerStars
The new list did not bring light to PokerStars and its odds of entering a US market. The Resorts Atlantic City casino and PokerStars remain left out and a spokesman for the Department of Gaming Enforcement mentioned that the application submitted by Rational Group (parent company of PokerStars) remains under review and that no other green lights will be given before the test period starts on November 21.
Irish betting company Paddy Power will also not be amongst the operators taking part in the trial run despite receiving a license a while back. Unfortunately for Paddy Power, the company has not yet made a partnership with a land-based casino in Atlantic City and the regulations only allow for the 12 casinos to go online, with approved partners. Paddy Power CEO seemed reluctant to enter the online gambling landscape in New Jersey, calling it “highly competitive” and “overly fragmented”. He did not rule out the possibility of joining at one point.
Now, the soft launch will see a limited number of invited players try out the online offers and if everything goes well, the operators will launch their sites to the New Jersey population in less than a week.
PokerStars still has a shot at making it online by the end of the year but the focus will now be on making sure that everything runs smoothly amongst the approved operators.