The brick and mortar casinos along the Atlantic City boardwalk aren’t the only casinos shutting down this year. Following the rather underwhelming response to online gambling that we’ve seen in New Jersey since its launch in November 2013, internet gaming hubs are closing their virtual doors and packing up.
In New Jersey, all online gambling companies are required to partner with a physical casino to be allowed to operate. This requirement is written into the Casino Control Act that allowed online gambling companies to offer their services in New Jersey. It states that all internet gambling sites available to New Jersey players must physically house their servers in one of Atlantic City’s casinos.
Interestingly, the act does not specify what happens to a virtual casino when its brick and mortar partner shutters. Now, as the mass shut down of Atlantic City’s casinos continues through the final quarter of 2014, we’re left to wonder what will happen to those virtual partners. Specifically, we’re left to wonder about what will happen to those paired with casinos that will close or already have. The two I’m referring to are Betfair and Ultimate Casino, both of whom are partnered with Trump Entertainment Resorts’ properties.
Trump Plaza, one of Trump Entertainment Resorts’ final two properties in Atlantic City, closed in September 2014. One property remains, but is slated to close on November 13. Ultimate Casino sued Trump Taj Mahal earlier this year, claiming it had breached important contracts held between the two companies.
Ultimate Casino’s Closure
Ultimate Casino’s last day of operation was September 21st, 2014. Its website currently states that the company is in the process of refunding any player balances that were left over when the website stopped offering games. Additionally, all U Point balances are accessible to players until November 22nd. Players are being directed to Golden Nugget Casino’s website to continue to play online slots and table games.
Although Ultimate Casino’s revenues lagged behind other poker websites like Borgata Online, it still managed to bring in an average of $500,000 per month while it operated in New Jersey. The New Jersey site’s closure will not affect Ultimate’s operations in Nevada, where it continues to enjoy healthy operation.
Betfair’s Still Open – For Now
Although Betfair’s physical partner, Trump Plaza, is closed, Betfair continues to operate. This is because it was given a special reprieve from the New Jersey Division of Gaming to remain open while it attempted to find a new partner. It found a new partner in Caesar’s. This partnership is short-lived, however, and is set to expire in six months.
The UK-based Betfair casino has enjoyed a fairly strong year of profits in New Jersey. It offers slots, poker, and other tables games like baccarat and roulette.
Other Online Casinos in New Jersey
Betfair and Ultimate Casino are only two of the many online casinos available to New Jersey players. As we’ve discussed in previous articles, it’s inevitable that some of the pioneering online casinos won’t make it. It’s the nature of any fledgeling industry – early companies make mistakes, falter and fail, giving new companies insight in the process. Newcomers to the New Jersey online gambling scene can look toward these casinos and avoid making their same mistakes, just like the existing brick and mortar casinos can look toward Showboat, Trump’s properties, Revel, and the Atlantic Club to avoid making the mistakes they made and power through Atlantic City’s current slump.