The brick-and-mortar gambling epicenter of the universe has just had its heart broken after a successful 11 year relationship. The World Poker Tour annual championship has taken place in Las Vegas, Nevada for the last 11 years. But evidently the old saying that “what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas” is no longer the case. The move for that important poker event to New Jersey and the East Coast is what at least one major Internet gambling industry executive calls “a major win” for New Jersey and its online gambling future. This move clearly brings even more creditability to the region’s online gambling industry, and could be a boost to Atlantic City online poker gambling.
Roger Gros is the publisher of Global Gaming Business Magazine, and he had some strong opinions concerning why he believes the WPT Championship traded in Sin City and headed for the Atlantic City Boardwalk. He pointedly stated that it is his belief the Garden State is rapidly becoming the biggest player in the online gambling and online poker industries. He further stated that WPT executives wanted to be “where the action is.” You may recall that Nevada first legalized online gambling delivered via Internet poker rooms, and that New Jersey and Delaware joined the virtual gambling industry in the United States sometime later.
Many industry analysts have noted that the smaller population of Nevada, coupled with the fact that the state only offers Internet poker, has helped New Jersey establish its position as the leader in web gambling in the United States with their inclusion of Atlantic City online casino options. NJ legislators decided to give the okay for a full slate of Internet gambling offerings available for its state residents and any other visitors located inside state boundaries. This includes casino games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat as well as poker offerings online. That state’s web gambling industry is based out of Atlantic City, regulated by the state and run by the physical Boardwalk casinos there.
Gros pointed out that there are millions of global poker players currently enjoying their favorite card games online while wagering real money. He claims to have even spoken with Internet poker players who relocated to the Garden State from other countries because of its Internet poker presence. He identified at least two of the New Jersey Internet poker players he referred to as coming from Mexico, specifically so that they could “play the legal online tournaments” the state offers. Such a significant piece of news for New Jersey also gives legitimacy to the entire Internet gambling industry in the United States as a whole.
Currently there are talks in the U.S. Congress on both sides of the aisle about outlawing all forms of net gambling. And recently, Pennsylvania State Representative Mario Scavello introduced a proposal which would actually fine and jail anyone in his state that is caught gambling online. So the pro-gambling picture in the US is far from clear. But with nearly a dozen states proposing some type of legalization of online gambling, and three states already successfully offering legal betting online in the form of poker and/or casino games, the general feel in the United States is that web gambling is here to stay. WPT Championship highlights will be televised next month, further benefiting the NJ Internet gambling industry.