Tropicana gets NJ's 5th Internet gambling permit

Tropicana gets Internet gambling permit; 5 casinos approved so far for NJ's November launch

Associated Press

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey casino regulators continued their march toward Internet gambling Monday, awarding the state's fifth online gambling permit to the Tropicana Casino and Resort.

The state is preparing for the launch of online gambling in New Jersey, which will begin Nov. 26 after a five-day invitation-only test period to make sure all the systems work properly.

The awarding of the permit came as detailed regulations for Internet gambling took effect Monday.

The other permits have gone to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort.

The Tropicana has joined with Gamesys Limited, which runs jackpotjoy.com.

New Jersey is the third state in the nation to offer online gambling, along with Nevada and Delaware.

Online gambling is designed to give the struggling casinos new revenue, though some worry the in-person business will simply migrate to computers, leading to casino job losses.

Atlantic City's casino revenue has plunged from a high of $5.2 billion in 2006 to a little more than $3 billion last year and could dip below that mark by the end of this year. Thousands of casino jobs have been lost already as many gamblers choose options closer to their homes in Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

The four casinos owned by Caesars Entertainment — Caesars Atlantic City, Bally's Atlantic City, Harrah's Resorts Atlantic City and the Showboat Casino Hotel — are partnering with 888 Holdings for online gambling.

The Borgata is partnering with bwin.party for online gambling, and Resorts Casino Hotel has joined with PokerStars, the world's largest poker website, which had tried to buy the Atlantic Club this year before the deal fell apart.

The Taj Mahal Casino Resort chose Ultimate Gaming, which began offering Internet gambling in Nevada this year. Trump Plaza is widely reported by industry publications to have chosen Betfair, the British online gambling firm, although neither the casino nor the company would comment.

The Golden Nugget Atlantic City is offering its own brand of Internet gambling using Bally Technologies.

Revel Casino Hotel and The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel have not divulged their online gambling plans.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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