New Jersey allows California's Pala Indians to team with Borgata for Internet gambling

Industries Associated Press

New Jersey gambling regulators have approved a California Indian tribe's request to offer Internet gambling in conjunction with Atlantic City's top casino.

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The state's Gaming Enforcement Division has authorized Pala Interactive to team with the Borgata to offer online gambling in New Jersey.

The Pala will be the first Indian tribe to engage in online gambling in New Jersey. The enforcement division signed an order approving the arrangement last Friday.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians will use one of the Borgata's online gambling licenses. Their CEO, Jim Ryan, once ran the bwin.party online gambling company.

"He's a very experienced guy, and it shows our commitment to the New Jersey online experience," said Joe Lupo, the Borgata's senior vice president.

Pala, like other New Jersey Internet gambling providers, can only take bets from customers within New Jersey's borders.

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The Pala site should be active within two weeks, but will be separate from the Borgata and party poker brands that the Borgata already offers.

The tribe founded Pala Interactive about a year and a half ago, and originally hoped to be ready for an expected approval of Internet gambling in California.

Its entrance into the New Jersey market should come about a week before the anniversary of online gambling in New Jersey. It began in November 2013 as a way to help the struggling brick-and-mortar casinos generate more revenue.

So far, though, it has generated only about a tenth of the $1 billion that state officials originally forecast for its first year.

In another Internet gambling event, the Gaming Enforcement Division fined Caesars Interactive $10,000 for sending promotional materials to 250 people who had voluntarily excluded themselves from Internet gambling in New Jersey between February and May.

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Wayne Parry can be reached at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC