What do Nevada online poker and Donald Trump have to do with Jersey shore casinos battling for the first-ever Internet gaming license in the Garden State? Maybe everything. The state of New Jersey had imposed a deadline of July 7 for any company wishing to provide its state’s residents with online casino gambling. Since The Donald’s physical Taj Mahal casino was one of the 12 brick-and-mortar NJ casino companies in Atlantic City to make it just under the wire and turn in their Internet gaming license in time, they stand an equal chance at obtaining the coveted first license.
However, a recent announcement may have moved the Taj Mahal to the head of the pack when the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) announces the winners in the first wave of licensing. The business-savvy Trump has often been referred to as “the King of the deal” when millions and billions of dollars are on the line, and his deal-making prowess may have worked its magic again. Ultimate Gaming was successful as the first company to deliver online poker in Nevada earlier this year, so New Jersey regulators would probably have faith in their ability to efficiently and rapidly deliver online casino gambling to Garden State residents by the November 23 deadline the DGE has put in place.
And it just so happens that is the same company that Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino in Atlantic City has agreed to partner up with. The Taj Mahal owns the all-important physical Atlantic City location required by New Jersey gaming regulators where computer servers must reside to provide online gambling. And Ultimate Gaming can handle running the Internet casino software side of the business. Although all 12 physical New Jersey casinos have applied for a New Jersey Internet gaming license in time, the Ultimate Gaming – Taj Mahal marriage may prove hard to beat for those other casinos in the battle for the all-important first NJ Internet gambling license.
By all accounts the online casino gambling picture in New Jersey will be a multimillion, and possibly billion dollar a year business. Whichever company is the first to successfully launch an online casino legally stands to profit immediately, and also benefit as a leading player in the burgeoning United States online gambling market in the future. This is because Nevada recently passed legislation which would allow them to form interstate compacts with other states who also legalize some form of online gambling.
With Delaware also preparing to deliver online gambling to its state’s residents for the first time ever, the initial company to obtain a virtual New Jersey casino license could also benefit from a ready and willing “local” partner on their Internet gambling dance card. At this early stage, the Trump Taj Mahal looks like the front-runner to receive the first NJ Internet gaming license. But with all 12 land-based Atlantic City casinos beating the state-issued deadline for application submittal, it is anyone’s guess at this time who the lucky first license recipient will be.