US casino 1st to have betting by TV

Casino

Guests at one New Jersey casino won't even have to get out of bed in order to place a bet.

The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City said it will become the first casino in the United States to let guests gamble over hotel room TV sets, starting February 18.

Its E-Casino program will let guests with player's cards set up electronic accounts and risk up to USD 2,500 a day.

Slots and four kinds of video poker will be the first games offered.

The casino says the technology can be expanded to include gambling over hand-held devices anywhere on casino property, which New Jersey recently authorised, and full Internet gambling, if the state approves it.

"This puts us in a position to leverage the technology into true mobile gaming and Internet betting later on," said Tom Balance, the Borgata's president and chief operating officer. "We're moving forward with the future of gaming, and this is that first step."

John Forelli, the casino's vice president of information technology, said it is designed not only as an added amenity, but to get them familiar and comfortable with the concept of electronic gambling accounts for the day when Internet wagering comes to New Jersey. Gov. Chris Christie last week vetoed an Internet gambling bill, but said he would sign one with some moderate changes.

The casino does not expect in-room gambling to supplant a significant portion of its action on the casino floor. Rather, it views it as an added attraction for customers trying to decide which of many East Coast casino destinations to visit.

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