Paddy Power pursuing New Jersey gambling licence

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Irish gaming operator and sportsbook Paddy Power (SBR rating B+) is in the hunt for a gambling licence in New Jersey. PaddyPower is already the beneficiary of an online gaming licence in Nevada although it has yet to setup shop in Sin City. PaddyPower is one of many companies seeking to position itself to take advantage of recent NJ legislation legalising internet gambling.

New Jersey expects to get its internet gambling games setup and running by November 2013. SBR reported last week that 37 firms applied for internet gambling licenses in New Jersey.

America's biggest casino, including Caesars Entertainment, MGM, Boyd Gaming, Trump Entertainment, are standing in line waiting for their rubber-stamping from the state's Division of Gaming Enforcement.

The DGE indicated that the licenses will not be made public until the time which they are approved. NJ Governor Chris Christie legalised internet gambling after signing Bill A2578 on February 26.

Under terms of the internet gambling bill, casinos must verify that players are physically present in NJ to play their games. Traditional casino favourites as well as online poker will be offered. Online poker giant PokerStars partnered with Resorts Casino Club to set itself up to cash in on the poker side of things, after its courting of the Atlantic City Club Hotel led nowhere.

The Irish Independent newspaper attributed the following quote to Paddy Power's communications director: "We have applied for the licence to be in there, and we'll then see what is viable. We're putting ourselves in position."

If New Jersey is successful in considerably boosting revenue for the state and revitalising Atlantic City, many other states who may be flirting with the idea of enacting their own gambling legislation may dive in with both feet.

NJ is also attempting to overturn 20-year-old federal law PASPA (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act), which would allow the state to have licensed casinos accept sports wagers. PASPA currently limits sports wagering nationwide to Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana, though Nevada is the single largest beneficiary of the dated federal legislation. SBR reported on June 21 that the NJ sports betting case was likely to progress through to the Supreme Court. A final verdict in the case is expected within two years.

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