In a move expected by many, Ultimate Gaming has ended their contract with the Trump Taj Mahal in New Jersey.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the company cited multiple breaches of contract by the casino. Ultimate Gaming has also chosen to shut down their New Jersey operations rather than find a new casino partner.
While not specifically stated by the company, one of the breaches may have been over payment for services rendered. According to the bankruptcy filing by Trump Entertainment Resorts, Fertitta Acquisitions Co. is owed nearly $1.5 million by the Trump Taj. Fertitta Acquisitions is an associate company of Stations Casinos, majority owner of Ultimate Gaming.
Trump Entertainment Resorts entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy on September 9 and could be on the way to shutting down the Taj in November unless other arrangements are made.
Doomed From the Start?
What do you call a partnership where one side fails to do any work? You would call it Ultimate Gaming in New Jersey. From the beginning, it appeared that the Taj wanted an online partner but didn’t want to do any work to help them grow.
Look at their site. There are no links at either TrumpTaj.com or PlayTajPoker.com for Ultimate Gaming. Advertising by the casino was non-existent for their partner. Odds are that if you asked the average player if the Taj had an online site, they would say no.
Failed to Replicate Nevada Success
Ultimate Gaming was unable to duplicate the success enjoyed in the Nevada online poker market and was dead last in New Jersey for overall performance. In 2014, the poker room pulled in just $451,321, less than 5% of second place Caesars.
Ultimate Casino was dead last in table games, pulling in $4.46 million through August and just $4.92 million overall. Betfair, despite making only $49 this year on poker, pulled in $5.05 million through August.
Shutdown Not Expected to Take Long
While a date was not set for a final closure of New Jersey operations, many expect the company to shut down in just a few short days. According to UG chairman Tom Breitling, “We are working closely with the Division of Gaming Enforcement to ensure a smooth transition for our online gaming customers as we wind down our New Jersey operations.”
With the closure of Ultimate Gaming in New Jersey, there will be just five online gambling sites remaining. Betfair is continuing their New Jersey operations despite Trump Plaza shutting down and are looking for a new gambling partner.
The shutdown of Ultimate Gaming could be of benefit for some of the other sites as players look for a new place to call their online home. With close to $600,000 a month in table game revenue, expect some sites to see noticeable jumps in revenue over the next couple of months as these players transition.
What’s Next For Ultimate Gaming?
For now, the company will focus on Nevada. Ultimate Poker has remained competitive in the state despite Caesars popular launch of WSOP.com. Enhancements to the Nevada site are planned in upcoming months, including the ability to play on both Mac and mobile platforms.
Ultimate Gaming could also be biding their time until California legalizes online poker. The company has claimed in the past that they have tentative agreements with some tribes to serve as service provider. Depending on what happens with PokerStars, UP could find traction in a legal California marketplace.