The Buddy System Is Helping Some Gaming Groups, But Hurting Others

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In the gambling world, partnerships are essential. Competing casinos often partner up to try to strengthen one another. Poker tours work together to ensure minimal overlap in scheduling.

This week, the news was all about partnerships.

In New Jersey, two new sites launched. One is an unexpected new partner of Pala Casino.

Meanwhile, New Jersey gaming representatives are on the hunt for new partners to share liquidity and grow the online casino market.

And on a national level, a new partnership between tribal casinos and sports betting enthusiasts has many scratching their heads about the tribes stance on wagering.

Here is more on the range of new and suprising partnerships in the gambling world:

playMGM and a new exotic brand enter NJ online casino market

When news broke playMGM launched its online casino in New Jersey this week, it was not surprising. After all, they are one of the biggest names in the casino game. Both playMGM Casino and playMGM Poker are up and running in the Garden State.

The two sites operate under Borgata’s online casino license. Along with partypoker and Pala Casino, that brings the total number of casino brands on the license to four. The maximum is five.

It turns out playMGM was not the only New Jersey online casino to launch this week though. The other brand entering the market is a bit surprising.

Scores, the famous gentlemen’s club, launched a branded online casino as well as a poker site this week too. Rather than go its own, Scores is basically a skin of the existing PalaCasino and PalaPoker sites.

With Scores and playMGM in the mix, there are now 17 online casino brands to choose from in New Jersey. That number begs the question how many is too many in this limited market?

Will New Jersey be getting some new online players?

The market is finite in New Jersey for now, but the state is still trying to work out some sort of deal which would allow it to share liquidity with other markets.

Unfortunately, the attempt to merge British and New Jersey markets stalled. Unless every server for a site is located within New Jersey, sites are not allowed to share player pools. The chance any European site relocates servers to NJ is slim to nil, so the chance this happens is too.

However, a possible new bill could change the situation. Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Ray Lesniak says he is going to introduce legislation to allow people from outside of the state to place bets within the state. The bill would remove the server requirement.

Elsewhere, the state is pursuing a compact with Nevada, where online poker is legal. David Rebuck, chairman of the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), recently said in an interview that DGE is back in talks with Nevada about a compact. Rebuck and company are in talks about a possible Pennsylvania compact as well, should the state legalize and regulate online gambling.

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Tribes could trip up sports betting efforts

California gamblers got excited when state Assemblyman Adam Gray introduced an amendment to set up the possibility for sports betting in the state.

One group was decidedly less happy about the news though. The tribes of California did not appreciate Gray introducing such an amendment without consulting them first.

According to the tribes, should the amendment pass and sports betting become legal in California, it would violate virtually all of the dozens of tribal compacts in the state. Since the passing of Proposition 1A, casino gambling is something exclusively available at tribal casinos in the state.

California is not the only place where tribes are involved in sports betting debate though. Oklahoma tribes previously stalled DFS legislation too.

Now the tribes are teaming up with a coalition to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). That sounds like a good thing, but it turns out tribal leaders are still undecided on how they feel about the subject.

One might think teaming up with a coalition means unequivacol support, but in fact, the tribes are still trying to figure out their role in wagering. Until it is certain they are getting a piece of the pie, they are staying on the fence of the sports betting issue.

About

Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for WSOP.com. A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.