New Jersey Gets 37 Online Gambling Applicants
Another step toward regulated online gambling in New Jersey today, as the state Division of Gaming Enforcement announced that 37 applicants submitted the preliminary paperwork to apply for Internet gambling licenses in advance of the state’s July 29th deadline.
That late-July deadline was set only weeks ago by the DGE. It followed an end of June deadline for New Jersey casinos to notify state officials of their partnership plans with international online gambling operators.
Both deadlines were meant to keep New Jersey on track for a November 26th launch of regulated online gambling. If met, that would provide New Jersey with a strong starting advantage over neighboring states such as Pennsylvania and New York.
Applicants span variety of license types
According to the DGE, the 37 individual applicants can be broken down into three sub-categories by the type of license that they’re applying for:
21 – 92a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License, including letters of intent (CSIE)
12 – Ancillary Casino Service Industry Enterprise License
4 – Vendor Registrants
For more details on those individual levels of licensing, refer to the DGE’s online gambling FAQ here.
New Jersey officials are not yet releasing the names of the applicants. In fact, it appears that only approved applicants will be identified, and then only as they are officially added to the list of approved operators, vendors, and so on.
Timeline for approvals still somewhat hazy
The announcement from the New Jersey DGE did not include any new deadlines regarding when decisions would be made on this round of applicants.
But the existing launch target – November 26th – suggests that the DGE will almost certainly be informing prospective operators of licensing decisions by late October, if not a good deal earlier. Stretching decisions out far beyond that point will likely hamper the ability of operators to launch effectively, and that’s the last thing that New Jersey officials want to happen.
No immediate announcement on PokerStars’ status
Many following the story of regulated online gambling in New Jersey are likely wondering what, if any, insight regarding PokerStars’ future in the market can be gleaned from today’s announcement.
Unfortunately, there’s simply no information in the DGE’s announcement that makes any reference – direct or indirect – to PokerStars or their chances of being deemed suitable to participate in New Jersey’s online gambling market. Meanwhile, powerful commercial casino forces in the state continue to work against PokerStars’ attempt to gain a foothold in New Jersey.
Door still open for other applicants in New Jersey
All the talk of online gambling deadlines in New Jersey seems to have created a small amount of confusion regarding what the deadlines actually delineate.
The deadline that just passed was not the final deadline for those seeking entrance to New Jersey’s online gambling industry. Rather, it was simply a deadline for those who hope to be operational when New Jersey flips the switch and rolls out regulated online gambling this November, adding another chapter to the history of American online poker.
In short: The door for other applicants wishing to enter the New Jersey online gambling market remains open, and will remain open following that launch date.
However, one does assume that applicants coming in after this first round will have to wait until the entire set of initial applicants is cleared before their applications can be considered. And with an applicant pool numbering over three dozen, those who come later to the game may find themselves facing a longer wait than they would like.
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