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Latest Wynn Possibilities in Atlantic City

10 September 2013 by Devon Chappell

Last month, Wynn Resorts entered the New Jersey online gambling market with surprising interest in either buying a casino in Atlantic City or partnering with an online casino brand to launch a site in New Jersey. Surprising indeed because Steve Wynn himself recently stated that New Jersey was the “enemy” in relation to the brick ‘n mortar gambling industry.

Exploring the idea of Wynn Resorts perhaps taking over the beleaguered Atlantic Club Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, I personally have less faith that Steve Wynn meant what he said. Perhaps he did for a bit – but for the brief time between his statement and the realization that properties are actually still available in New Jersey.

What if Wynn Resorts did indeed buy the Atlantic Club in Atlantic City in order to gain a foothold in New Jersey’s highly anticipated internet gaming market? After all, Wynn knows the property right? Steve Wynn actually built the Atlantic City Boardwalk’s southernmost casino property back in 1980. At the time, the property opened as the Golden Nugget. Seven years later he sold it. Since then, the casino has seen its share of name and branding changes.

As previously reported, a Wynn subsidiary discretely applied for one of New Jersey’s online gambling licenses. The Press of Atlantic City found out, however, both the Division of Gaming Enforcement and Wynn officials have remained mum on the subject. For enforcement officials, this is obviously a confidential matter. But for Wynn Resorts, mum is the word apparently, as they perhaps back-peddle on Steve Wynn’s previous comments regarding New Jersey.

A requirement in New Jersey is that online gaming providers must partner with an operating Atlantic City resort. Though all but 2 casinos in Atlantic City have entered into such partnerships, the Atlantic Club has remained on the market.

New Jersey is set to take off this coming Thanksgiving and analysts believe it will be far more profitable than Nevada’s online poker market. New Jersey has more than 9 million residents and is adjacent to New York City, Philadelphia and other heavily populated and gambling-friendly areas.

Reuters has firmly stated that Nevada’s online casino market will generate $50 million to $250 million in annual revenue while New Jersey is predicted to generate $500 million to $1 billion yearly.

Does Steve Wynn still have an affinity for the Atlantic Club despite his remarks about online gambling and New Jersey? It has been reported around Atlantic City that Wynn has regularly visited the property in the past months.

In other Atlantic City standings, PokerStars has moved on to become the online gaming partner for Resorts Atlantic City. We recently covered an article about Gibraltar-based 888 Holdings and its Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s partnership in New Jersey. Gamesys Limited of Britain has signed on with the Tropicana Atlantic City. Trump Plaza has apparently shacked-up with Betfair, and Borgata has partnered with Bwin.party of Gibraltar.

We also covered the news surrounding PaddyPower and its would-be interest in the Atlantic Club. Paddy Power passed licensure vetting in Nevada last year and has since announced interest in New Jersey. Perhaps the Atlantic Club is being wooed by both Wynn and Paddy Power?

Lastly, Landry’s Inc., the owner of the Golden Nugget Atlantic City, might be eyeing a sell-out. The property, despite an expensive renovation, has not seen the revenue it needs to succeed. Also a Wynn possibility, no? The company has not made a definitive decision and may consider selling internet gaming rights on the property also. So many options, you might have better odds playing online keno.

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