Betfair’s New Jersey Servers and Hardware Migrated to Caesars Interactive Operations
Betfair Interactive New Jersey LLC and Caesars Interactive have agreed to a deal that will allow the online gaming provider to remain in the New Jersey market for the next six months. Though Trump Plaza closed its doors on September 16, Betfair remains a licensing partner with that entity for the time being, as the Betfair revenues help to pay off Trump Plaza creditors.
Since Trump Plaza’s closing, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement allowed Betfair to continue operations for a number of weeks, in the hopes the company could find another partner. The new deal has not been announced, but the text of an order from the Division of Gaming Enfrocement was released. The order allows Betfair Interactive to remain in New Jersey.
Order Signed by DGE Director David Rebuck
The DGE order has been in effect since September 24, when it was signed by DGE director David Rebuck. The order allows a conditional 6-month approval for Betfair and Caesars Interactive. The order is a called a “Data Center Sublicense Agreement”. That means Betfair can relocated its servers and hardware infrastructure to a Caesars-owned maintenance facility in Atlantic City.
Betfair operates a BetfairCasino.com, a New Jersey-facing online gambling website. The site has been in operation since the rollout of the licensed and regulated New Jersey gaming websites in November 2013. BetfairCasino has been one of the poorest-performing of the six gaming operations, but it may have been hampered by its association with the troubled Trump Entertainment properties. Trump Plaza closed in September, while most indications have Trump Taj Mahal closing in November. The arrangement does not include plans to launch any new gaming sites, though the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s order says that it is possible such a site could be launched in the future.
Why Regulators Are Being Helpful
New Jersey regulators have given Betfair much consideration, because of the expense it took such companies to enter the US market. To have such businesses invest in the state and lose their license a year later is bad for a regional gaming industry’s reputation, so the DGE has gone to great lengths to maintain a good relationship with a good actor like Betfair.
Despite the order, Betfair’s official website continues to promote its relationship with Trump Plaza. Despite being in bankruptcy, Trump Plaza retains an interest in the customers who play on the Betfair website. Such profits would continue to be used to pay creditors.
Meaning of the Caesars Deal
The deal with Caesars Entertainment is meant to assure continuity in service, so the gaming is not disrupted when Trump Plaza shuts down the remainder of its operations. Relocating to the Caesars Entertainment properties also would allow a formal, orderly shutdown of operations by Betfair, if the time came that it eventually left the New Jersey market. Therefore, the DGE order should be seen as a temporizing move.
Betfair’s poker site generated a pitiful $49 in revenue in 2014, so it never became much of a factor in its months of operation. On the other hand, the Betfair casino made a significant contribution with $5,053,550 in revenues collected in 2014. This was hardly enough to help Trump Plaza with its crushing debt, but it represents 8% of the yearly revenues for the New Jersey online gambling industry in 2014.
Trump Plaza Closing
Trump Plaza’s closing is part of the wider story of Atlantic City’s casino’s collapse. Observers have wondered for some time if Trump Plaza wouldn’t close. The property had begun to have a dilapidated look since the new ownership took over operations in 2009, so that it had the look of an older casino by its closing in 2014.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement wants to ensure continuity in its gaming operations, as much as possible. If Betfair shut down operations, many of the gamblers would migrate to other legal online portals in the New Jersey market. Just as sure, many players would stop playing, so the continued operation of the Betfair Casino website allows the state to collect maximum revenues for the longest possible time.
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