Trump Plaza Teams with Betfair for Online Gambling in New Jersey

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The dominoes are beginning to fall into place in the online gaming market in New Jersey. On Wednesday, the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino (pictured) announced that it has teamed with one of the top European outfits for its online gaming operation.

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According to eGaming Review, Betfairis the online company that will provide the Trump Plaza with an e-gaming platform. According to the report, Betfair will use its casino gaming from the GameAccount Network to provide part of the operation and use the Ongame platform to service the poker end of the deal. This is the second move by Betfair, a company located in West London, England, into the U.S. gaming community following its purchase of the horse racing business TVGin 2009 and subsequent branding on major racetracks across the country.

What isn’t known about the deal is exactly what it will be called. While the Trump name is still on the Plaza property, it was sold in February of this year for $20 million to the Meruelo Group, the company that owns the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada. It is thought, therefore, that the Trump brand will not be on the online gambling operation when it opens for business.

The news of the Betfair/Trump Plaza deal comes on the heels of another recent announcement regarding the New Jersey online gambling scene. Just days ago, the sister site of the Trump Plaza, the Trump Taj Mahal, announced that it had signed a deal to team with Nevada-based Ultimate Gaming, which owns Ultimate Poker. It is believed that pending regulatory approval from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, these sites and others will be online by the prospective November 16 launch date.

The flurry of partnerships started in April when Caesars Entertainment, the owner of four properties in New Jersey (Bally’s Harrah’s, Showboat, and its eponymous Atlantic City operation), announced it had filed a license application with its longtime partner 888 Holdings to enter the Garden State.

Along with the new applications from the Trump properties, seven of the 12 casinos in Atlantic City have officially applied for licenses and announced their dance partners. The other five casinos have also applied for online gaming licenses, but as of yet haven’t announced whether they will create their own gaming platform or partner with an existing company.

Absent from the continuing partnerships in the burgeoning New Jersey gaming scene is the monolith of the online poker industry, PokerStars. After previously agreeing to purchase the Atlantic Club earlier this year for $50 million, PokerStars saw that deal fall throughin May after its parent company, the Rational Group, was unable to obtain a temporary license to take over the Atlantic Club.

A flurry of legal action has followed, with PokerStars currently on the losing end of the battle. Since then, no other New Jersey casino operator has stepped up as a potential partner for PokerStars.

The pursuit of online gaming in New Jersey is thought to be a watershed moment for the struggling Atlantic City gambling industry. EGR reports that in January, the Trump Plaza only pulled in $5 million in revenue, a 40% decrease from its take in January 2012. In the entire 2012 calendar year, the Trump Plaza’s net revenues were $102 million, which EGR noted is the take for the Borgata in about two months.

In its analysis, Reuters believes that the New Jersey online gaming industry will dwarf that of its rival in Nevada. Reuters points out that while Nevada’s online poker-only operations are expected to earn somewhere between $50 million and $250 million in annual revenue, the New Jersey market and its full casino gaming options are expected to pull in $500 million to $1 billion per year.

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