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Pala Casino off to a Promising Start on New Jersey’s Online Gambling Market

Nov 26, 2014 - by Monica Erdei
Pala Online Casino

Pala Casino goes virtual

After a short testing period, California’s Pala Indians have officially launched their online casino in New Jersey.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians have become the first tribe to offer internet gambling services in New Jersey, one of the three US states where gambling laws allow players to access online casino games.

The website went live in mid-November, but procedure requires gambling sites to go through a testing phase before becoming fully available. During this period, the service was only open to a limited number of players, for a limited number of hours per day.

Pala Interactive chief marketing officer Jeremy Clemons explained: “Our launch in New Jersey is a huge step for the company, and we want to make sure we’re rolling out one of the best, most user-friendly casino experience on the market.”

The restrictions were gradually lifted over the course of a week and now the new Pala Casino website is in full swing, after having obtained the New Jersey gambling regulator’s permission. For this project, the Pala Band of Mission Indians partnered up with Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino, a company that already holds a license to run such operations in the state.

Jim Ryan, chief executive officer of Pala Interactive, told reporters: “We had a solid weekend and we have yet to start marketing. We believe we are breaking into the New Jersey market at the perfect time.”

Star Tribune: California-based Pala tribe becomes first to launch Internet gambling site in New Jersey

The tribe has entered the New Jersey online gambling market around the same time when the state marked its one year anniversary since its first internet casino went live. There isn’t much to celebrate, however, as New Jersey’s online gambling industry hasn’t produced nearly as much as officials had predicted a year ago.

On November 25, 2013, local authorities announced optimistic projections of $1 billion in the first year alone. Unfortunately, New Jersey’s online casinos have only managed to produce about a tenth of that – $111 million to be more precise,

The tribe operates the Pala Casino and Spa in San Diego County, California, and it created a new branch – Pala Interactive – to expand its services in the virtual realm. Since it doesn’t hold a license to operate casinos in New Jersey, the organization paired up with the Atlantic City-based Borgata Casino, to use its license to operate internet gambling sites in the state.

Furthermore, the tribe has already announced it was planning to launch an online poker site in New Jersey, in the first quarter of 2015.

PokerFuse: Phil Ivey Endorses New Jersey’s Latest Online Casino

In July 2013, Pokerfuse exclusively reported that professional poker player Phil Ivey had signed an agreement to become the brand ambassador for Pala Interactive. The tribe hasn’t had much success in launching a product in California, as the state hasn’t legalized online poker sites yet.

However, since Pala Casino went live in New Jersey, Ivey came out publicly to congratulate welcome the tribe to the state. According to the latest gambling news, the poker player used his Twitter account to encourage followers to “check out” the online casino’s gaming offer.

Owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians and operated under Borgata’s license, this is the first regulated tribe-run online casino in the US. An internet poker site will follow sometime next year.

Earlier this month, the media speculated that the Pala tribe and Phil Ivey had gone their separate ways because of a disagreement between the poker pro and Borgata. The casino accused him of cheating and even sued him for $9.6 million, claiming that he and his accomplice exploited a flaw on the back of the cards to gain an unfair advantage over the casino, when playing baccarat.

Ivey was involved in a similar scandal with the Crockfords Club Casino in England. This time, it was the poker player who sued the gambling venue, because the company had refused to pay out his $7.7 million winnings. The Crockfords Club argued the same thing – that Ivey had deceived the dealer and won through a technique called “edge sorting”. The court ruled against the poker player.

U-T San Diego: Ringo sets Pala show for 2015

One of the two surviving members of the legendary Beatles, Ringo Starr, has announced a show at the Events Center at Pala Casino, Spa & Resort. The event will take place on March 14, 2015. The star will be celebrating his 75th birthday next year.

This will be the final stop on a 30-day tour where fans can see Starr and his All Starr Band. The event will take them through five Southern states, Puerto Rico, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and California.

Tickets for the show at the Pala Casino are priced at $125, $100 and $95. In addition to this event, the band will have concerts on March 12 in Santa Ynez and on March 13 in San Francisco.

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