TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- An online gambling firm plans to buy or build a casino in Atlantic City to get a piece of the Internet wagering action planned to launch in the state this year, another sign of a revival of corporate interest in a city where gambling revenue has been falling since 2006.
MidOil USA managing partner Vincent Crandon said Friday that he plans to announce around Labor Day whether his investment firm and Web gambling company 2UP Gaming will be buying or building.
He said he's in talks with multiple casinos — though he declined to say which, citing confidentiality agreements — about a sale and is working with an architect on building.
He said that by buying a casino by September, his group could be among those offering internet gambling Nov. 23, the day it becomes legal in New Jersey. If the company builds instead, he said, it could not offer online bets in the U.S. until after that.
Crandon also said an Asian investment group is pledging $330 million for the deal.
"The intent is really to be prepared to build anew," Crandon said. "It's not a light endeavor."
2UP, which is registered in London and has operational offices in West Melbourne, Australia, is the second established international online gambling company to try to buy into Atlantic City this year. The Rational Group, the parent company of Pokerstars, is in litigation over whether it can buy The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. Pokerstars has also hedged by applying with the state government for permission to run an online casino for Resorts Casino Hotel.
All 12 New Jersey casinos are expected to provide information to the state by Monday on their internet gambling partners. Monday is the deadline to apply to be allowed to open online gambling operations when they are first allowed to launch this year.
New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada have state laws allowing online betting. But so far, the only legal online casino in the U.S. is in Nevada, and it is only available to people in that state.
Under New Jersey's law, casinos must have a physical presence in Atlantic City to be allowed to offer online gambling.
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