by Haley Hintze
BORGATA, OTHER NJ ONLINE POKER SITES PREP FOR NOV. 26TH OPENING
Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa received the first interactive gambling license to be issued by New Jersey state gambling regulators. The license, granted in early October, means that the Borgata will be among the Atlantic City casinos expected to launch real-money online gambling, including poker, on Tuesday, November 26th. The live date for realmoney action will follow a brief, five-day soft launch for final software and hardware testing. The Borgata is a collaborative venture owned by Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International, and its online brands are expected to be powered by bwin.party software. All 12 Atlantic City casinos are seeking approval to launch online versions of their brands, which will be available to anyone age 21 or over who is physically present in New Jersey.
ZYNGA WITHDRAWS NEVADA IGAMING APPLICATIONS
Social-gaming giant Zynga has reversed course from previous plans in announcing its withdrawal of applications to be a provider of real-money online poker in Nevada. Comments made by Zynga executives confirmed the pullback, with the company facing mounting red ink and dealing with the loss of 18% of its workforce, among the many factors that make a costly expansion into US online gambling a risky venture at this time. Zynga still operates a real-money gambling site for UK residents, and remains one of the kings of social, free-to-play games. The company’s Zynga Plus Poker remains the internet’s most popular free-play poker application.
GOLDEN NUGGET, MGM, BOYD SEEK NEVADA IGAMING EXTENSIONS
Three of the expected major players in Nevada’s online poker market— Golden Nugget, MGM and Boyd Gaming—have filed extensions in Nevada in light of their delays in bringing real-money online poker sites to market. The extensions are required by state regulators to confirm ongoing interest following six months of inactivity, a technicality which has affected several possible vendors in the wake of the state’s arduous testing and confirmation process. None of the three Nevada casino giants have confirmed a launch date for their planned Nevada offerings, suggesting that an arrival of 2014 or later is a possibility.
23,500 FULL TILT REMISSION APPLICATIONS RECEIVED
Early reports from Full Tilt Poker claims administrator Garden City Group suggested that few former customers of the one-time US-facing site were in a rush to apply for refunds. GCG reported sending out roughly 1.4 million letters to one-time US players, but had received completed remission applications from only 23,500 players in the first two weeks of the twomonth window, which runs through November 16th. The 23,500 applications received by the Ohio-based claims firm represents less than two percent of all potentially eligible applicants.
POKERSTARS PLANS $10 MILLION NEW JERSEY CARDROOM
PokerStars parent Rational Group has announced plans to develop a $10 million cardroom at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel, contingent upon PokerStars receiving approval from New Jersey regulators. PokerStars’ has also applied to be the software supplier of Resorts Casino’s future New Jersey online site, with the live poker room, if approved and developed, returning poker to the casino for the first time since 2010. Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino is no longer part of the nationwide Resorts International chain; the casino, New Jersey’s oldest, is now operated by Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which also operates Mohegan Sun.
US NUCLEAR COMMANDER DEMOTED AFTER PASSING COUNTERFEIT CHIPS
The deputy commander of the US Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska, was demoted following the passing of at least $1,500 of counterfeit chips at an Iowa casino. Vice Admiral Tim Giardana, 57, lost his three-star rank after the incident at Horseshoe Council Bluffs (Iowa), across the border from Omaha. Pottawattamie County (IA) prosecutors elected not to prosecute Giardana for the alleged violation, given his lack of previous criminal history.
Veteran poker-industry writer/editor Haley Hintze is the author of an upcoming book on the Absolute Poker and UltimateBet online cheating scandals, to be released later this year.