The people turning the currently closed Revel Casino Hotel into Ocean Resort Casino are planning to do more than just reopen the once-failed hotel and casino on the Atlantic City Boardwalk in the summer of 2018.
They’re now looking to take the casino brand online as well. Considering the online gambling industry pulled in a record $245.6 million in gross revenue in 2017, who can blame them?
The problems Revel Casino Hotel ran into are well documented. The $2.4 billion upscale casino resort started having issues with finances and labor during construction. In fact, these issues led to numerous delays, and the scope of the project was scaled back significantly.
It did finally open on April 2, 2012. However, owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection twice in its first two years of operation. Ultimately, Revel Casino Hotel was forced to close its doors on Sept. 2, 2014.
A deal was struck to sell the property to Brookfield Asset Management at auction for $110 million. However, that deal never came to fruition. Instead, on April 7, 2015, Florida developer Glenn Straub bought Revel out of bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar. In fact, Straub paid just $82 million for the $2.4 billion resort.
Straub renamed it TEN and set and missed several reopening dates over the next two years. He simply refused to apply for a casino license state regulators said he needed and never managed to reopen Revel as a result.
TEN’s social casino website
Straub did manage to get a social casino website up and running in 2017. Play.TenACNJ.com, a partnership between Straub and international online casino software giant GAN, offers play money casino games.
It was supposed to lay the groundwork for a real-money New Jersey gambling website that would launch when TEN finally opened. But it never did.
A Colorado-based development group called AC Ocean Walk announced in early January 2018 it had bought the former Revel from Straub for $200 million. It also announced it would be renaming the property Ocean Resort Casino and opening in the summer of 2018.
Soon after, AC Ocean Walk and GAN also announced plans get in New Jersey’s real money regulated online gaming market. The companies said they were looking to start operations as early as the first half of 2018. Which means the online gambling website could possibly open before Ocean Resort Casino does.
Still, one question remains: What exactly will the Ocean Resort Casino online gambling site look like?
The easy answer is that it will likely look similar to the online gambling site already using GAN software in New Jersey: Betfair Casino.
Betfair and GAN
GAN has been offering turnkey software solutions for online gambling operators around the world since 2012. They have been providing New Jersey’s Betfair Casino with online gambling software since the site launched in November 2013.
Betfair first launched under Trump Plaza’s internet gambling license. However, when Trump Plaza shut its doors in September 2014, Betfair went looking for a new home.
It found one with Caesars Interactive Entertainment, but that was just temporary. Soon after, the site found a permanent home operating under Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s online gambling license.
Originally, Betfair had an online poker site as well. However, it shut down operations in December 2014. The site used Betfair’s own software as GAN doesn’t provide online poker software through its platform.
Clearly, Ocean Resort Casino will have to look outside of its partnership with GAN if online poker is part of its online gambling wish list.
However, when it comes to online slots and table games, GAN has it all, and the Ocean Resort Casino online product is likely to feature similar titles to what players find on Betfair.
Betfair is known for providing the most unique content in the NJ online gambling market. The site boasts the largest collection of exclusive game titles in the market. Most of these are GAN games, and Betfair may be forced to give up a lot of that exclusivity with Ocean Resort Casino becoming a second NJ online gambling website using the GAN platform.
Third-party software developers at Ocean Resort
Betfair also has enjoyed a number of third-party partnerships that provide the website with additional game titles. Ocean Resort Casino will likely strike similar partnerships with third-party software developers in an effort to keep up with the rest of the NJ online casino industry and the hundreds of game titles each website offers.
Betfair currently gives players the chance to play more than 150 slots, 12 table games, and eight different types of video poker. In the NJ online gambling website market, this is baseline stuff. Ocean Resort Casino will need to start with at least that.
Without all the top-grossing online slot titles and classic casino games such as blackjack and roulette, Ocean Resort Casino will have a tough time competing in the market. Since it won’t start out with the name recognition some other brands in the market enjoy, at the very least they’re going to have to offer a competitive product, and that means including the most popular game types.
Betfair has always been the exclusive online home to games such as Hi-Lo Solitare and PokerBet in New Jersey. It may want to keep things that way. That would force Ocean Resort Casino to look elsewhere for its own exclusive titles.
Ocean Resort and legal sports betting
Ocean Resort Casino developers have claimed an interest in building a state-of-the-art sportsbook on the property in anticipation of New Jersey gaining the right to offer legalized sports betting from the US Supreme Court in 2018.
Its partnership with GAN for online gambling operations will also have it ready to be one of the first online gambling websites in the state to offer sports betting.
GAN launched a strategic relationship with sports betting solutions provider SBTech in early 2018. It plans to integrate SBTech sports betting software into its platform everywhere it can. If the sports betting market opens, an Ocean Resort Casino online gambling site will be part of it.
Things such as marketing, branding, and promotions will likely remain different between the two GAN-powered NJ online gambling websites. But there’s very little doubt Ocean Resort Casino will launch with an interface similar to Betfair’s. Plus, players can expect to find relatively similar functionality on both the desktop and mobile app clients.
Partnering with GAN to launch a real-money online gambling website means Ocean Resort Casino wants a tried and true software solution to cover the basic operations. The rest will be up to them.