Betfair Losing New Jersey Partner

Betfair Losing New Jersey PartnerBetfair’s presence in New Jersey’s online gambling regime is now in jeopardy following the announcement that Trump Plaza will shutdown in September.

A requirement of New Jersey statutes is that operators of gambling sites must be aligned with an existing casino. When Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino closes its doors on Sept. 16, Betfair will be left without a casino partner.

The options available are to either withdraw from the market or enter into a new partnership agreement with an Atlantic City casino. The choices among the latter option have diminished greatly considering that the Atlantic Club closed in January, the [geolink href=””]Showboat Casino will lock its doors in August[/geolink], and the [geolink href=””]Revel Casino is mired in bankruptcy proceedings[/geolink] and may also be shuttered come autumn.

Of the four mentioned casinos, only Trump Plaza had been exercising its option to obtain an Internet gambling permit. The Atlantic Club and Revel had been in dire financial straits for quite some time. The Showboat is one of four Atlantic City casinos owned by Caesars, who is operating online poker and gambling sites via two of those.

Before entering into agreements with land-based casinos to run gaming sites in the Garden State, it is presumed that foreign companies such as, 888 and Betfair took a peak at company books to determine the financial solvency of their gaming partners. If that was indeed the case, Betfair may already have a ‘Plan B’ in place regarding partnering up elsewhere.

However, the company has remained mum on the issue, leaving others to only speculate on what the future may hold. One of those speculations includes the possibility that a Betfair partnership via Trump Tal Mahal casino may be in the offing. That casino is one of two owned by Trump Entertainment that includes the soon-to-be shuttered Trump Plaza.

However, Trump Taj Mahal is already allied with Ultimate Gaming, parent company of Ultimate Poker. Any new deal involving Betfair may have to take into consideration whatever exclusive rights Ultimate Gaming is allowed through the current operating agreement with Trump, eGR reported.

Betfair has invested quite heavily in the New Jersey market and operates through its deal with Trump Plaza. Its revenues year-to-date are a disappointing $3.7 million, well behind its competition in the state. But it still appears that finding a new casino partner is a better option than leaving the market.

That market is expected to be much more lucrative in the future once online poker and gambling regulations spread throughout the U.S. Though Betfair’s New Jersey site is lacking a customer base of Internet poker players, the situation could change once liquidity is shared through interstate partnership agreements as is expected.

Also in Betfair’s favor is a recent change in rules by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement that permits casinos with an online gambling license to operate multiple platforms. That modification may go a long way in determining Betfair’s future in the Garden State gaming market, creating better odds of finding a casino partner among the land-based gaming establishments that remain in Atlantic City after the spate of casino closings are complete.

Jacqueline Packett
Jacqueline Packett