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Pala tribe begins Internet gambling in New Jersey

ATLANTIC CITY — California’s Pala Indians became the first tribe to offer Internet gambling in New Jersey on Wednesday.

The Pala Band of Mission Indians began a test of their PalaCasino.com site. The tribe’s online gambling arm, Pala Interactive, is partnered with Atlantic City’s Borgata.

The company expects a full launch of the site on Monday, once it gets approval from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement. It will include more than 90 games and a daily free spin on a slot game.

“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,” said Jeremy Clemons, Pala Interactive’s chief marketing officer. “We value the input we’ll receive from our beta testers and look forward to getting our beta launch test program running.”

The tribe runs the land-based Pala Casino and Spa in San Diego County, California, and wanted to expand its brand onto the Internet.

The Pala will use one of the Borgata’s online gambling licenses. Pala, like other New Jersey Internet gambling providers, can only take bets from customers within New Jersey’s borders.

It plans to launch an online poker site in the first quarter of 2015.

It joins the New Jersey online market less than a week before the state’s anniversary of online gambling. Internet betting began Nov. 25, 2013, as a way to help the struggling brick-and-mortar casinos generate more revenue. So far, though, it has generated only about a tenth of the $1 billion that state officials originally forecast for its first year.

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