California may still be waiting for online gambling, but the state’s Pala Band of Mission Indians isn’t waiting to start online gambling services.
They’re just going forward in New Jersey, which has already approved online gambling.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has approved Pala Interactive to team with the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa to offer online gambling in the state.
The tribe is the first to operate online gambling in the state. Under New Jersey’s online gambling laws, all gambling sites have to team with an Atlantic City casino. The casinos, however, can have multiple partners. Borgata is already teamed with PartyPoker. The Pala Band of Mission Indians, however, will operate their site independently from Borgata.
“Hopefully we’re going to surprise and delight and build some meaningful market share in New Jersey,” said Jim Ryan, Pala Interactive’s CEO, in a press release.
Ryan formerly ran the bwin.party online gambling company, which offers PartyPoker. The tribe wanted to expand its brand onto the internet, Ryan said.
The tribe’s palacasino.com site should go live in New Jersey this month following a five-day state-mandated testing period.
The site will only take bets from gamblers located within the state’s borders. Though the site will be going live in New Jersey, Ryan said the tribe still has its sights set on launching a California site.
“The California market is one we are focused on,” Ryan said. “We began building this product in the hopes that there would be a regulated internet gambling market in California.”
By operating in New Jersey, however, and going through the state’s tough regulatory process, Ryan said the site will gain “regulatory credibility” that the company would be able to bring to other states in the future.