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Betfair Allowed Time to Find New Casino Partner in NJ

The closing of Trump Plaza is scheduled for next week, leaving online gaming partner Betfair without a bricks and mortar ally with which to continue its online gambling operations.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) has issued an order permitting the London-based bookmaker to continue accepting online wagers in the Garden State as it seeks a new dance partner. Its current partner, Trump Plaza, will lock its doors on Sept. 16 and join the Atlantic Club, Revel and Showboat on the list of Atlantic City casinos that have closed in 2014.

Garden State online gaming statutes enacted in 2013 require licensees who don’t operate a casino to align themselves with one. Betfair is one such licensee who has invested heavily in New Jersey, but has fallen victim to Atlantic City’s struggling land-based gaming industry.

In issuing the order allowing Betfair to continue sans a casino partner, DGE director David Rebuck did put limitations on the company’s involvement pertaining to the entire licensing ordeal. Betfair asked to be fully apprised and a part of any future talks in conjunction with its operations and licensee status, but Rebuck will allow participation by Betfair only in writing as required, eGaming Review reported.

Available Casino Partners Dropping Like Flies

Options in finding a casino in which to form a partnership have decreased considerably due to the aforementioned spate of closings. Also rumored to be joining that list of shuttered Atlantic City casinos is the Trump Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza’s sister casino that is reportedly in the process of initiating bankruptcy proceedings and aiming for a November shutdown.

Should that occur, it would leave only the Golden Nugget, Tropicana, Borgata, Resorts, Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s remaining. Of those seven bricks and mortar gaming locales, the latter three are all owned by Caesars Entertainment.

Betfair is certainly in a bit of a bind in New Jersey, a new market in which it has yet to reap revenue rewards in comparison to its competitors. But the London bookmaker has had no such problems back home where gambling on the World Cup earlier this year allowed Q1 results to experience a boost of 39% overall.

Future of Atlantic City to be Discussed at Today’s Summit

Atlantic City’s problems will be addressed at a summit scheduled for 2:00 p.m. today at the Casino Reinvestment and Development Authority. Gov. Chris Christie has invited business leaders and elected officials to convene in hopes of setting the state’s gaming industry on a path to revitalization.

That revitalization may include locating new casinos in northern New Jersey in an effort to keep gamblers from going to nearby states to place wagers. That idea had been toyed with previously, but Christie put it off until 2016 in hopes that Atlantic City revenue would regain some of its previous magic, in part by the approval of online poker in New Jersey that launched in November 2013.

New casinos in coming years in the northern region of the state would create more partnership possibilities for companies like Betfair. But that is little comfort for the UK bookmaker today, as the time frame for finding a new casino partner is believed to be only a couple of months at most.



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Charles Rettmuller

Charles has been an avid poker player for a number of years, both live and online. He holds a degree in journalism and previously worked as a reporter for a Chicago-based newspaper. Charles joined the PokerUpdate team in early 2012 and writes daily news articles for the site.