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Two separate comments by individuals who should know what they’re talking about suggest that online poker will be operational in New Jersey before year’s end.
The first came from CIE head Mitch Garber, who told the Montreal Gazette that he believes WSOP.com “should” be live by December 2013:
Two states did pass their own legislation, however, and that will have a big effect on us […] It’ll mean we’ll be operating online real-money poker in Nevada this summer and it should also mean we’ll be operating online real-money poker and casino games in New Jersey by the end of 2013 and beginning of 2014.
The “and” above is a bit confusing, but Garber clarified on Twitter:
The second came from Ultimate Poker’s Director of Poker Operations Scott Yeates on TwoPlusTwo.
In a response to the question “Will people in NJ be able to play any time soon?” Yeates said simply:
“Yes, see you in 6 months!”
Yeates’ remark is the more interesting of the two because, to the best of my knowledge, neither Ultimate Gaming nor Station Casinos is eligible to operate an online gambling site under New Jersey regulations, which essentially limit online gambling license applications to existing land-based operators.
Ultimate would need to partner with a NJ entity, acquire a NJ entity (Atlantic Club Casino?) or NV and NJ would have to compact for Ultimate to operate in NJ.
Obviously neither of these offhand comments sets December in stone as the launch date for online gambling in New Jersey.
But both do offer some window into the working timelines of companies who are very close to the process.