Ultimate Poker to Exit New Jersey Online Poker Market
Citing ongoing difficulties connected to the bankruptcy of the Trump Taj Mahal, the fifth of 12 Atlantic City casinos to face possible closure within a year’s time, Nevada-based Ultimate Poker has announced that it will be leaving the New Jersey online-gaming market. The complete body of the statement release by Ultimate Poker can be found below.
The withdrawal will affect two online sites licensed by the Trump Taj Mahal to offer online gambling to New Jersey bettors, www.ucasino.com and www.ultimatepoker.com. The New Jersey withdrawal will have no effect on Ultimate Poker’s ongoing business in Nevada, where it made history by becoming the first state-regulated offering to be approved for live, real-money play.
The statement issued by Ultimate Poker parent Ultimate Gaming blamed the termination of the deal with Trump Taj Mahal on “repeated breaches” of the deal by Taj operating parent Trump Taj Mahal Associates LLC. The Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy protection ten days ago and announced tentative plans to close in November, unless it received major concessions from its 3,100 employees.
Those workers have already received possible layoff notices (called “WARN” Act notices) citing a possible November 13th closing date.
The likely closing of the Trump Taj Mahal follows the earlier bankruptcy of the Taj’s sister casino, Trump Plaza, which closed its doors for good on Tuesday. Trump Plaza’s closing likely means a similar forced exit from the New Jersey online-gambling scene for Betfair, which served as the software partner for the Trump Plaza online offerings. Betfair received a short-term waiver to continue the Trump Plaza’s online operations but is unlikely to be allowed to continue once the Trump gambling licenses are formally surrendered back to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
The Ultimate Poker-powered sites offered on behalf of Trump Taj Mahal never captured a significant market share in the state. August’s revenue numbers, published by the DGE, showed the Ultimate Power sites as combining for only $579,496 in revenue, about 6% of the state’s overall overall business. For online poker the numbers were even more dire, with the UP-powered sites combining for only $23,099 in generated rake for the month.
Those numbers have sagged markedly throughout the summer and account for only about 1% of the state’s online poker business. Two competitors have captured almost all of the New Jersey online poker industry, Borgata and Caesars Interactive NJ, together combining for about 99% of the state’s more than $2 million in August online poker revenue.
The Ultimate Poker press release about the withdrawal from New Jersey:
TRUMP TAJ MAHAL ASSOCIATES’ BANKRUPTCY LEADS TO ULTIMATE GAMING’S WITHDRAWAL FROM NEW JERSEY ONLINE GAMING MARKET
LAS VEGAS (September 19, 2014) – Ultimate Gaming announced today that it has terminated its online gaming agreement with Trump Taj Mahal Associates LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The agreement was terminated due to multiple breaches by Trump Taj Mahal Associates. As a result of the termination, Ultimate Gaming will be withdrawing from the New Jersey online gaming market. Ultimate Gaming will continue to maintain its existing online poker operations in Nevada through UltimatePoker.com.
“We are 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 and appreciate their leadership as one of the first states to allow online gaming,” said Tom Breitling, Chairman of Ultimate Gaming. “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,” continued Breitling. “We also look forward to enhancing our customer experience in Nevada by adding Mac and mobile offerings by the end of the year,” said Breitling.
Ultimate Gaming customers seeking information concerning their account can go online at www.ucasino.com or www.ultimatepoker.com.