Mobile Gaming Allowed in Atlantic City Casinos [POLL/AUDIO]
You'll no longer need to be on the casino floor to place a bet, or even leave your hotel room, if Atlantic City casinos take advantage of a new law that goes into effect immediately. The measure signed by Governor Chris Christie allows casinos to offer their guests portable gaming devices, on which they can play electronic versions of authorized games (for real money).
The devices could be used anywhere located within the property boundaries of a casino hotel facility, including the swimming pool area or at a restaurant.
At the end of their stay, visitors would return the devices to the hotel and, depending on their luck, cash out their winnings.
"In order to remain attractive to visitors and competitive with neighboring states, it's important that Atlantic City keep up with the latest innovations and trends," said bill sponsor Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D). Nevada has offered the mobile service since 2005.
Dr. Israel Posner, a gaming expert at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, said the move follows a trend that's been transforming Atlantic City over the past few years. Years ago, Posner said, the casino floor was thought of as the primary purpose of a building. Over the years, though, casino gaming and other property amenities started integrating and morphing into a single resort-like experience for guests. He pointed out that gaming is also available at The Pool Bar at Harrah's Resort and in The Quarter at Tropicana.
"There are so many things to do at Atlantic City's casinos and hotels; it just makes sense to allow guests to take their games along with them," said Republican bill sponsor Assemblyman Chris Brown.
The service would only be available on the special devices, not individuals' cell phones, and they would be required to not work beyond casino property. Gamblers who utilize the devices would need to establish an account with the casino.
According to the Associated Press, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement said there are a number of safeguards that can be built into the devices to discourage underage gambling, such as requiring a special PIN number every few minutes.
Caesars Entertainment, which oversees operations at Caesars, Harrah's, Bally's and Showboat, said company officials are evaluating the new gaming opportunity, but no decision has been made yet.
Joe Lupo, Senior Vice President of Operations for Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, released the following statement Wednesday:
"We are very pleased that the legislature and the Governor have provided us this opportunity to offer mobile gaming as a means of further distinguishing our gaming offerings from jurisdictions that compete with AC. Since mobile gaming is a relatively new development that has not yet been widely deployed in other jurisdictions, it is something that we are closely looking into in terms of what offerings our customers would be most interested to play."