AP News

2 Trump casinos get Internet gambling permits


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey awarded online gambling permits to the two Trump casinos on Thursday, continuing its march toward Internet gambling.

The latest to get permits are Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino and the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. They join the Borgata and the Golden Nugget as casinos approved to begin Internet gambling.

"We are very pleased to get the third and fourth permits," said Robert Griffin, CEO of Trump Entertainment Resorts. "We think this is a significant move for Atlantic City and for the Trump company. We're going to make the deadline of November."

Online gambling will begin with an invitation-only trial period on Nov. 21. Assuming all goes well, full-fledged Internet gambling will begin on Nov. 26.

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

Aside from an acknowledgement that state regulators feel confident of a casino's preparations for online betting, there is little practical benefit to receiving an Internet gambling permit early. Any casino that wants to offer online gambling must receive a permit, and getting one early does not allow it to begin taking online bets before the state startup date.

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.

All table and slots games available in the casinos will be available online once full play starts.

Gamblers will have to be physically located within New Jersey's boundaries to play; geolocation technology built into the operating systems is designed to disable the systems if a person is outside the state's boundaries.

Of the 12 Atlantic City casinos, only 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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