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Boyd Investors Bet on New Jersey Online Gambling Success

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Boyd Gaming (BYD - Get Report) rallied sharply, a 4.08% one-day spike, on Tuesday, the same day that online gaming became legal in New Jersey.

Boyd shares are still down over 27% from the Oct. 18 high of $14.35, so my enthusiasm for BYD is muted at best. The company announced earlier Tuesday its Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa has been authorized by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to offer real-money online gaming to the general public in the state.

Boyd Gaming also announced that following an initial trial period, two Borgata-branded gaming sites were approved by the Division of Gaming Enforcement to accept wagers from the general public in the state of New Jersey. The Garden State joins Nevada and Delaware in allowing online casino games. Mississippi is reportedly examining the same kind of tolerance for online gaming in its jurisdiction.

If you have the taste for this kind of activity you might want to check out an example of what a Borgata gaming site, one dedicated especially for online poker, looks like. It appears the same site also has other games and gambling activities using this Web address.

"The launch of our first real-money online gaming product is an exciting milestone for our company," Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, said in a statement. "Boyd Gaming views online gaming as a compelling opportunity to further grow and diversify our operations, and the launch of our New Jersey online product is the most significant step yet in that effort."

Will BYD profit from this new online opportunity? Investors are already betting that it will. But before you ante up too much for the shares of the stock, consider the other operations and holdings of this purveyor of casinos.

Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming has a market cap of $1.1 billion and claims that it "...is a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey."

Before I comment on one person's experience at a BYD's property in Las Vegas, let me remind you that there's already an outcry of opposition against online gambling. Former U.S. senator from Arkansas Blanche Lincoln spoke out on CNBC against online gambling on the same day it became legal in New Jersey.

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