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There’s been a lot of will-they-or-won’t-they talk regarding New Jersey’s self-imposed deadline of November 26th for launching real-money gambling online.
While we’re only in early October, that talk should be fully resolved by next Friday (October 11th).
That’s thanks to a quirk in New Jersey law that requires the DGE to give 45 days notice prior to launch date.
A quick bit of calendar math reveals that October 12th (a Saturday) is the last day the DGE could give notice for a November 26th launch.
A DGE representative confirmed to me that this notice will be made public – if it is in fact given. The representative also confirmed that as the 12th falls on a weekend, the 11th – next Friday – becomes the effective deadline.
So, in a nutshell: If we don’t hear from the DGE by this Friday on the November 26th launch, then it appears safe to conclude that the launch has been delayed.
While reading the tea leaves of public statements from gambling regulators has made fools of smarter people than myself, I will note that New Jersey officials have repeatedly – and forcefully – contended that they plan to meet the launch date.
With little room for hedging in those statements, a request for delay on the part of the DGE would represent a serious loss of face.
If there was any real chance that the November 26th deadline would not be met, I would have expected far more equivocation from the DGE when publicly discussing the issue.
Assuming the launch does go off in late November, players are likely to have access to a handful of brands as opposed to the full suite of New Jersey casino brands.
Nothing is set in stone at this point, but if pressed to make a guess at what brands will be live at launch I would go with:
The later the launch is pushed back, the greater the potential that the initial class of brands will include more operators.