Resorts Casino Signs Deal with Sportech and NYX Gaming for Licensed Online Gambling

Resorts Casino Hotel signed a deal with European gaming software firms Sportech and NYX Gaming to join the online gambling niche in New Jersey. The two new partners are expected to work with PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker to provide world class support for the Resort Casino Online.

Details remain sketchy how the new deal works, but it is presumed NYX Gaming and Sportech will provide software support for ResortsCasino.com until a time when PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker are allowed to participate. At that time, those brands would likely continue to support certain games in a secondary capacity, as IGT does at many online casinos.

Resorts Casino and PokerStars

In June 2013, Resorts Casino signed a deal with PokerStars. At the time, the partnership was lauded by gaming analysts, who believed the casino’s online portal would be able to rival any in the market, including Borgata and Caesars Interactive. The PokerStars license application process was suspended in December 2013, due to Rational Media’s continuing troubles with the U.S. federal government. Resorts Casino’s online business prospects have been in legal limbo ever since.

With the inclusion of Sportech and NYX Gaming, the Atlantic City casino will be able to proceed with its plans. Most other New Jersey operators began in November 2013, so the company will need to catch up with rivals.

Morris Bailey: “Exciting New Era of Gaming”

Morris Bailey, owner of Resorts Casino, said about the announcement, “This is an exciting era of gaming in New Jersey, and we are confident it will be another steppingstone in Resorts’ storied history.”

PokerStars’ troubles in the United States are well-documented. After the UIGEA was passed in 2006, many online poker sites and casinos left the U.S. market. Some tried to skirt the laws by accepting US players, and some used third party financial services to hide the fact they were accepting real money American signups on their website. That is what the U.S. government accused PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker of doing, which resulted in the Black Friday case.

PokerStars’ Bad Actor Reputation

Since then, PokerStars has paid over $700 million in fines to the U.S. government to make the case go away. The legacy of the case continues to haunt the world’s largest online card room, though, as individual U.S. states have begun legalizing online poker and casino games.

In each case, PokerStars has tried to enter the market. Each time, state officials have barred their way. In New Jersey, regulators suspended the license process. In Nevada, a license was denied based on bad actor clauses. In California and Pennsylvania–which do not have licensed gaming, but are discussing it–new online gambling laws look like they will have “bad actor” clauses, specifically to bar PokerStars.

Enter: Amaya Gaming Group

That’s why Amaya Gaming bought Rational Media, the parent company of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker. The Canada-based Amaya Gaming Group said at the time one of their goals was to help ease PokerStars into the American market. Given Pennsylvania’s State Senate began writing a law that would make it hard for PokerStars to enter their market regardless of ownership, that might prove harder than first expected.

In that light, Resorts Casino deal with Sportech and NYX Gaming might be Amaya Gaming Group’s first change of policy. One presumes Resorts Casino would have needed the blessing of PokerStars to ink such a deal. Given Amaya Gaming is now the largest online gambling company in the world, one assumes Resorts Casino would like to maintain a good relationship. Therefore, the signing of this partnership 10 days after the purchase of PokerStars is a clear sign of Amaya Gaming’s strategy in the New Jersey market. They want their partner to get their online casino and poker websites up and running, and they can worry about themselves delving into the market later. If and when that happens, the partnership of all these companies could challenge Borgata Online.

PokerStars Might Be Approved by Fall 2014

Approval in New Jersey might not be that far off. David Rebuck, Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, said recently he believed Amaya Gaming could get approval for PokerStars by this fall. Ironically, Amaya Gaming had a previous deal with Caesars Interactive, so it already is active in the New Jersey market, and is therefore familiar with the local officials, laws, and bureaucratic customs.

If PokerStars is ever allowed into the market, reports are that Resorts Casino would offer licensed intrastate gaming through their own ResortsCasino.com, but also through the PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker websites.

How New Jersey Online Gambling Works

Only residents of New Jersey would be able to log in to play on these sites, but such a prospect would be likely to lure many New Jersey gamblers. PokerStars has a reputation for having the best online poker software. Before the UIGEA law, PokerStars controlled 70% of the US online poker market share.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on BestOnlineCasinos.com, USPokerSites.com, and LegalUSPokerSites.com

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