N.J.’s Internet Gambling May Create IT Jobs

Online gambling in New Jersey goes live on November 26, and a number of online wagering companies are betting that new jobs, including IT positions, are sure to crop up as a result, says the Press of Atlantic City.

gamblingPokerStars, 2UP Gaming, Bwin.party, 888 Holdings and other Web companies operating gambling sites overseas are looking to enter the New Jersey market, but they will first need to get a New Jersey Internet gambling license. “All of the jobs I’m talking about are absolutely New Jersey jobs,” said William J. Pascrell III, a state lobbyist representing PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site. He estimates that Internet gambling will bring 2,000 jobs to the Garden State in the first year.

PokerStars is plotting to add new employees as part of an Internet gambling partnership with Resorts Casino Hotel. Once a license is in place, Pascrell said the poker site will immediately hire 50 new employees in Atlantic City to install a digital infrastructure. The company will use the city as the North American headquarters for PokerStars, the paper reported.

Pascrell also said PokerStars plans to hire about 150 workers in New Jersey for the headquarters by the end of the second quarter of 2014. The poker site may create an additional 200 jobs next year in New Jersey, depending on how successful Internet gambling becomes and how quickly a rumored multistate system of online betting evolves. However, the paper said that there’s speculation building that PokerStars might have a difficult time winning a New Jersey license because of past legal problems.

According to the Spectrum Gaming Group, a casino consulting firm, Internet wagering will immediately generate about $400 million in annual revenue for Atlantic City casinos. Robert Heller, president and CEO of Spectrum Gaming Capital, a Spectrum Gaming Group company, was a bit less confident about the number of jobs to be created and the location of those jobs. He said, “Those jobs may be anywhere. They may be in New Jersey, or they may be in another country.”

Seth Palansky, a spokesman for Caesars Interactive agreed that it’s hard to guess how many jobs will be created, since the online gambling sites have yet to finish the licensing process. “It’s dangerous to start hiring and to ramp up when you don’t have licenses yet, and it doesn’t happen in the timeframe you want,” said Palansky. Caesars Entertainment, owner of the Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat casinos in Atlantic City, is teaming up with 888 Holdings and Amaya Gaming Group for online betting in New Jersey. Despite uncertainties about licensing, Palansky told the paper that Internet gambling will create new jobs and new spinoff business in the state.

London-based 2UP Gaming may hire more than 1,000 people to support its Internet gambling operations in New Jersey. Company spokesman Vince Crandon said 2UP’s new employees would include new poker dealers, as well as a host of IT workers, to support their New Jersey Internet business. Bwin.party, owner of the partypoker.com and World Poker Tour brands, has a partnership with Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. Bwin.party spokesman John Shepherd wouldn’t say how many new employees the company plans to hire for its Atlantic City operations, but he predicted Internet gambling will create thousands of jobs nationwide, with New Jersey set to capitalize on it.

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