New Jersey first....how will this affect the online tables...?
Bwin jumps 15% on hope of licence for online gaming in New Jersey State governor opens the way for internet casinos and online poker to be licensed Share 1
inShare 0 Email Over the yeas online gaming companies have faced numerous problems, legal and otherwise, in the potentially huge US market. But things could be about to change.
Bwin.party digital, the world's largest listed onling gaming group, has jumped 17.6p to 134.3p, a 15% rise which makes it the best performer in the FTSE 250, on hopes it could get a licence in New Jersey.
It has a joint venture with Boyd Gaming in the state, and on Thursday its governor indicated that he would sign a loaw allowing the licensing of internet casinos and poker, subject to some amendments. Governor Christie vetoed a gaming bill in its current form but left the way open to backing a compromise bill by saying:
Now is the time for the state to move forward, leading the way for the nation, by becoming one of the first states to permit internet gaming. Analysts at Numis said:
The successful start of licensed online gambling in the state is likely in our view to have two positive effects. First, to encourage some other states to license online gambling. Second, to encourage Federal legislators, even those who oppose gambling, to pass Federal legislation in an attempt to control the development of the US market. The New Jersey news has given a lift to other companies involved in online gaming. Playtech has put on 23.3p to 513p while 888 is up 12p to 127.75p, Betfair is 32p better at 711.5p, Sportech has added 4.25p to 80p and William Hill has risen 7.6p to 402.5p. Nick Batram at Peel Hunt said:
What the financial implications and opportunities of New Jersey allowing online gaming (the bill allows for land-based casinos and Racetracks to offer online poker and certain casino games to state residents) is uncertain – estimates have ranged from $200m-$250m (gross revenue). Companies that could benefit include 888, and bwin.party through their relationships with the land-based casino operators, also Sportech with its racing industry exposure.
However, perhaps the biggest value is in the fact that a major state is prepared to legislate positively for online gaming and that where New Jersey goes others will follow.