Just after its one year anniversary, the New Jersey Internet gambling market has lost an operator. Ultimate Gaming has decided to pull out of the Garden State iGaming industry. And on its way out the door, the company fired over-the-shoulder parting shots at its virtual gambling partner, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. The Taj owes Ultimate Gaming at least $1.5 million, and has not made a scheduled payment to the company in months. For comparison’s sake, Ultimate Gaming has claimed just $4.9 million in 2014 NJ virtual gambling revenue, where as the market leading partnership, Borgata and PartyPoker, has taken down more than $30 million so far this year during their participation in the legal online poker industry.
Tom Breitling is the chairman of Ultimate Gaming and he released a statement in which he said his company was “grateful to the state of New Jersey and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for allowing us to be one of the first companies to bring online gaming to the citizens of New Jersey.” He went on to speak favorably of the NJ online gambling leadership and regulatory body. Any customers with questions about their Ultimate Gaming casino or poker accounts in the state can get their questions answered at ucasino.com or ultimatepoker.com.
Taj Mahal Bankruptcy Didn’t Help Ultimate Gaming
As Ultimate Gaming has pointed out, part of the problem has been due to the threatened closure and bankruptcy of the Taj Mahal on Nov. 13. Trump Entertainment Resorts is the parent company of the Taj, and also ran Trump Plaza, which closed this past Tuesday. David Rebuck is the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, and he said that the fate of Betfair, Trump entertainment’s other Internet gambling partner, was unclear at the moment. Betfair, unlike Ultimate Gaming, has an established global presence, and even if they did not pull out of New Jersey, it would register as nothing more than a small blip on their revenue radar screen.
Ultimate Poker Nevada Operation Unaffected
Ultimate Gaming executives were quick to point out that the New Jersey departure would in no way affect its profitable and successfulNevada operation. The Ultimate Poker offering in the Silver State claims roughly half of all the Internet gambling revenue there. The company is also based in Las Vegas and owned predominantly by Station Casinos, a respected and popular Las Vegas entity. As far as the $1.5 million owed to Ultimate Gaming by Trump Entertainment, that will probably never be seen. In the company’s recent bankruptcy filing, just $50,000 in assets were claimed. Liabilities were said to run as high as $500 million.
As New Jersey goes, its iGaming industry probably will not be adversely affected by the Ultimate Gaming departure. PokerStars is ready to return, and will no doubt deliver NJ Internet poker players that have yet to shuffle up and deal in the barely 1-year-old virtual gambling industry in the state. And though the future of land-based casino operations looks bleak, Garden State iGaming customers are usually not the same demographic as those who travel to a physical casino. So while the Internet gambling industry in NJ is fine for now, the Ultimate Gaming departure means one less competitor for those companies still running cyber casino and poker rooms in New Jersey.