Skift Take

Atlantic City has had its struggles, and now the advent of online gambling in New Jersey could benefit the casinos financially, but also could make an actual visit to the fading city almost an after-thought.

Donald Trump, the billionaire whose name sits atop two Atlantic City resorts, is negotiating for a partner in New Jersey’s online gambling market after all 12 casinos notified the state of plans to offer Internet wagering.

Trump, who retains online gambling rights to his name, has held talks with Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., the company that owns Atlantic City’s Trump Taj Mahal and Trump Plaza hotels, and other potential partners, according to his daughter Ivanka Trump, an executive with the New York-based Trump Organization Inc.

“Given the way online gaming is rolling out on a state-by- state basis, we really want to keep our options open,” Ivanka Trump said in an interview.

Trump could sign a deal with one of his namesake casinos or another operator, she said. Trump Taj Mahal has paired with Ultimate Gaming, part of Station Casinos LLC. Online gambling in New Jersey may start this year.

All 12 New Jersey casinos met a June 30 deadline to seek state permission to offer betting online, according to Lisa Spengler, a spokeswoman for the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Trump’s online initiative is complicated by the ownership of the New Jersey hotels. Trump Entertainment emerged from bankruptcy in 2010 with Donald Trump as a minority investor and no management role. A licensing agreement signed with the company that year left him in control of his name for online gambling, according to the agreement.

Brian Cahill, a spokesman for Trump Entertainment, declined to comment.

Local Boost

New Jersey legalized online betting in February as a way to boost the state’s $3 billion casino market. Online operators are required to partner with a casino located in the state.

The casinos have all identified their prospective online partners to the state and either have agreements in hand or are still in talks, according to Spengler, the state spokeswoman. They have to file completed applications by July 29. New Jersey isn’t disclosing the names of the online companies.

Ultimate Gaming, owned by Las Vegas-based Station Casinos, said yesterday it had entered into a partnership with the Trump Taj Mahal. The online games will be marketed under the Ultimate Gaming brands, the company said in a statement.

Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp., the largest operator in Atlantic City with four properties, will offer online games with Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings Plc under the Caesars and World Series of Poker brands, according to Seth Palansky, a spokesman for the casino company.

MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corp., which own Atlantic City’s top-grossing Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, have partnered with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc, also based in Gibraltar.

Those games will be marketed with the Borgata and Bwin PartyPoker names, according to Robert Boughner, an executive vice president of Las Vegas-based Boyd, which manages the property.

–Editors: Rob Golum, Anthony Palazzo

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Palmeri in Los Angeles at [email protected]

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at [email protected]

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Tags: atlantic city, gaming

Photo credit: Donald Trump, speaking at the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, in March. Gage Skidmore /

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