Atlantic City, which has long been the gambling mecca for the eastern coast of the United States, is down but it is not yet out. In recent months, the strip has lost two of its long standing casinos. The most recent, being Trump Plaza, which will be shuttering its doors come the middle of September. While Trump Plaza will soon be a memory in its brick-and-mortar form, it will not leave the collective gambling world anytime soon.
New Jersey Casino regulators have agreed that Betfair may continue to take online and internet bets. Betfair, which is partnered with Trump Plaza, will be allowed to deal in online gambling up until Trump Plaza completely surrenders its casino license to the state.
According to the director of the state Division of Gaming Entertainment in New Jersey, David Rebuck, Trump Plaza’s license will remain intact for some time after the brick-and-mortar casino closes down, and Trump Plaza may keep that license current for as long as they wish. Betfair was not immediately available for comment. Trump Plaza was owned by Trump Entertainment Resorts, a prominent figure across the Tristate area, but particularly in the Atlantic City area, where they paired luxury resorts with machine and table gaming options.
Betfair is based in London. According to the Gaming Association, the London company wishes to remain tied to the New Jersey gaming association, and they are happy to work with the company to partner them with a different Atlantic City Casino when the Trump Plaza license does expire.
According to New Jersey gaming laws, online companies that offer gambling or betting, must be partnered with a brick-and-mortar Casino. The casino they partner with hold the casino license that is necessary for operation. The internet company aligned with that license is protected and policed under that license. Because Trump Plaza is shuttering its doors, it is likely that Betfair will need to find a new partner before the license expires to avoid service interruptions.
Because Betfair has shown interest in staying in NJ, the Gaming Association is committed to helping them make that happen. Under the law, the company must pair with a current casino. That casino may currently be offering online bets, or it may be a casino that does not currently have that functionality.
Trump Plaza made the decision to close its doors after its numbers were substantially lower than market leaders. Trump Plaza, together with Betfair, won a poultry $4.3 million from gamblers between January and July. They were tied, in last place, with the Taj Mahal and Ultimate Gaming. Top contenders, the Borgata and Caesars Interactive, won $27.1 million and $21.2 million respectively. Both companies are currently paired with internet betting agents.
Regular visitors of Trump Plaza and the Taj Mahal, claim their last place standing is well deserved. Both casinos have been in a state of decline, as the company attempted to stave off closing both entities with cost cutting moves. In an industry that is constantly changing and focused on luxury and glitz, the decline of the interiors, exteriors and gaming floors, sent loyal customers to other casinos on the strip. It also led to less online bets for BetFair as customers were more apt to pair with online components of the casinos they regularly visit.
The Taj Mahal and Ultimate Gaming may be the next Casino to shutter its doors. The resort may be closed by November, claims Trump Entertainment Resorts, the company that currently owns the Taj Mahal, and owned Trump Plaza. This year, Revel, a casino that opened its doors a mere two years ago was shuttered. The Showboat, which was largely seen as profitable, also closed down to reduce competition for other existing casinos on the strip. Starting with 12 casinos at the start of 2012, Atlantic City is now down to just eight resorts, and further cuts are possible.
Some argue that the online gaming component could potentially help casinos remain profitable and operational, as the internet market continues to surge and expand as legislation changes. The online component would allow Atlantic City to cast a much larger net and attract more tourists and gamblers. By doing so, the companies that remain on the strip could keep their heads above water, while the boardwalk morphs and changes. New casinos may soon come in to take the place of those that have closed down as well, hopefully allowing for more internet companies to pair with current casinos.