Atlantic City’s casinos had until the end of June to partner up for the internet gambling expertise they need to flourish in an untried intrastate market that could be worth as much as $1 billion a year or as little as $250 million, depending on who’s doing the guessing.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement assigned the deadline to ensure regulators have enough time to vet the qualifications and backgrounds of the companies that will be providing key support services and infrastructure. It’s tricky since the ablest providers, or certainly the most experienced, are offshore, and some of the best are encumbered by legal baggage on the U.S. side of the Pond.
As of this writing, all but two of the 12 casinos, Revel and The Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, have secured online partners: 

Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, operated by Las Vegas’ Boyd Gaming, and the four-casino group owned by Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment, struck early deals, respectively, with FTSE250 giants Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and 888 Holdings, both headquartered in Gibraltar. 
Trump Taj Mahal has signed on with Station Casinos’ Ultimate Gaming, which operates in Nevada as the first, and to date only, legal real-money poker site in the country.
• Sister casino Trump Plaza has taken a different route, partnering with Internet betting exchange giant Betfair. UK-based Betfair operates casino software through GameAccount and poker through Playtech. The company also owns TVG, which runs online account wagering on U.S. horseracing and is licensed in New Jersey. 
• Rational Group, owners of PokerStars, frustrated by the N.J. Casino Control Commission in their attempt to enter the market through the purchase of The Atlantic Club, has found another way in by teaming up with Resorts Casino Hotel. PokerStars is licensed in the Isle of Man and Malta. 
Tropicana Atlantic City is partnering with UK-based Gamesys.
The Resorts-PokerStars deal is likely to be problematic. Bwin.Party also, though perhaps less so.
PokerStars, the world’s leading site for poker players and perennial bête noir of the American Gaming Association (a.k.a. Caesars), will have to overcome the disrepute it can’t seem to shake for having taken bets in the States post-UIGEA. The AGA successfully opposed the company’s bid to buy The Atlantic Club, which the commission rejected earlier this year, and it opposes the Resorts partnership.
Bwin.Party recently settled with the state of Kentucky to avoid further legal troubles there and has flip-flopped in its pursuit of a Nevada license, which it has yet to secure. 
The DGE’s deadline for completed applications is 29 July 2013. The state wants the all-games network to be up and running within four months of that date.
From there it’s a matter of what time and marketing and the possibility of interstate player pools (and possibly international ones) hold in store. New Jersey will come out of the gate with an obvious advantage in terms of liquidity over tiny Delaware, its closest competitor, and Nevada, the first mover in the nascent US online market, which has the allure of Las Vegas going for it but less than one-fourth the population. It’s also a market that finds itself happily sandwiched between two of the largest metropolitan areas in the country in New York City and Philadelphia.
The Wall Street view, expressed by the likes of Spectrum Gaming Capital’s Robert Heller and Macquarie Capital’s David Berman, has been upbeat. Heller believes it could be the “savior” of a market that has seen its land-based business plummet more than 40 percent over the last six years. Berman, speaking at May’s East Coast Gaming Congress, called it a “big boon for Atlantic City and New Jersey”. 

A variety of estimates 
Beyond that, estimates of the potential vary, and markedly, although nearly everyone agrees that Gov. Chris Christie’s initial estimate of a $180 million windfall for the state budget, which at a tax rate of 15 percent implies a market worth $1.2 billion, is not realistic. The governor’s forecast appears to be based on Wells Fargo’s projection of a $1.5 billion industry by 2017, which in turn derives from the bank’s first-year forecast of $650 million to $850 million, which also appears to come down on the aggressive side.
Global Betting and Gaming Consultants own forecasts are for first full-year revenues of US$ 246 million for casino and poker combined.
Washington, D.C.-based lobbyists Interactive Media Entertainment & Gaming Association pegged the first-year potential at $230 million. That was back in 2010.
From here things acquire more of a glow. John Kempf, managing director of RBC Capital Markets, puts the annual revenue potential in the early going at $500 million-$600 million. Las Vegas-based investment brokers Union Gaming Group expect the market to generate $530 million in its first full year, growing to $840 million “after a five-year ramp”. 
In a recent note to investors, UGR broke this down between $244 million for poker (growing to $297 million by 2019) and $290 million for casino games (growing to $546 million by 2019). This assumes a poker penetration rate among adult New Jerseyans of 1.5 percent in the first year—supplemented by adult visitors to the state at a rate of 0.2 percent—and a casino games penetration rate of 1 percent of locals and visitors. In estimating wagers as a percentage of per capita gross domestic product the base they use is a 2014 estimate for New Jersey of $66,854, which is rather higher than the U.S. government’s 2012 estimate of $57,078 in current dollars and $49,430 in real terms. (For the nation, real GDP for 2012 stood at $42,784.) Other notable assumptions are that adult visitation to the state will grow by roughly 7.7 million over the next five years and that poker penetration will increase over that time to 2.8 percent of New Jersey residents and to 1.5 percent for casino games.
“All in, we remain bullish,” the firm said.