According to reports from New Jersey, a new online venture will be joining with the state’s online gaming industry by the end of this month. The casino operating the new site – and its potential partner for online poker – could draw a great deal of interest from the online gaming and poker community.
NJ.com’s Jeff Goldman reported this morning that Resorts International, the oldest casino on the Atlantic City boardwalk and also the least profitable, announced that they will bring an online gaming site to life later this month. Offering table gaming and slots through ResortsCasino.com, the venture is a partnership between Resorts and Sportech NYX Gaming LLC. Goldman states that ResortsCasino.com is currently undergoing its one-week “test period” at this moment and are expecting to go with live, real-money gaming at some time next week.
Once ResortsCasino.com goes live, it would join four other operations in the New Jersey online gaming scene. Currently in the Garden State, the Borgata, Caesars Atlantic City, the Golden Nugget and the Tropicana are the only casinos to offer online gaming and poker options. This is down from the six that originally entered into the market in 2013 due to the closure of the Trump Plaza (who had partnered with the also now-defunct Ultimate Gaming) and the financial woes of the Trump Taj Mahal, which could close at some point during 2015.
The online gaming operation might provide a boost in the arm to Resorts Atlantic City. Goldman reports that overall gaming revenue for Resorts in 2014 were $139.3 million, an increase of 6.6% over their 2013 win rate. Even with that increase, Resorts Atlantic City was in the cellar of the eight remaining gaming options on the Boardwalk, making $45 million less than the Golden Nugget in 2014.
For online poker players, the larger question with the debut of Resorts in the New Jersey online gaming industry could be who their partner will be for online poker. Although the online casino outlets have far outpaced their online poker brethren, online poker is drawing in some players who, following a session on the virtual felt, drift over to the online casino for some table games or slots. In Resorts case, their potential partner for online poker would be a formidable one.
After failing to purchase the now-closed Atlantic Club in 2013, PokerStars continued to search for a dance partner in an attempt to re-enter the U. S. market. Following the passage of online gaming regulations in New Jersey shortly after PokerStars’ failed venture with the Atlantic Club, the #1 online poker site in the international industry began to look around for a casino to partner with to be able to get back in the game. When New Jersey’s online gaming industry was born in late 2013, PokerStars was shuttled to the sidelines by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement when their license application was “suspended” due to the ongoing “Black Friday” indictments against several members of the PokerStars hierarchy.
That situation simmered until the summer of 2014 when Amaya Gaming bought PokerStars (and its relative entities) and, now with an indictment-free management (and Amaya already being licensed in the state of New Jersey), it was expected that PokerStars would be quickly vetted and put into the New Jersey market. Amaya chose Resorts International for that prospective launch, but that also has been delayed due to either a longer-than-expected review of the Amaya/PokerStars management or political interference from Governor Chris Christie (depending on whom you believe).
If PokerStars is allowed to launch with Resorts International when it goes live, it could be a shot in the arm for the New Jersey online gaming industry. The online gaming industry drew in $112 million over 2014, but that was significantly short of projections from the Christie administration. It is also possible that the addition of the Resorts/PokerStars partnership won’t have much effect on the market as, with four other functioning operations, there is simply an overlap of players rather than new players coming to the sites.
As of today, Goldman reports that Resorts is quiet on the prospective start of their online gaming operations and its partnership with PokerStars. By the end of February, however, we should have answers to the question of PokerStars and their involvement with Resorts in the New Jersey online gaming and poker marketplace.
(c) Poker News Daily – Read entire story here.