Steve Wynn Rumored to be Interested in Atlantic Club Purchase
Now, there is speculation in the media that Wynn may be looking to purchase the struggling land-based Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, which is one of the two casino properties in Atlantic City not to have publicly announced a partnership deal to operate an Internet wagering venture.
Wynn originally developed the property three decades ago
Steve Wynn was one of the original developers of the Atlantic Club when it was built back in 1980, just before he began transforming the gambling landscape of Las Vegas. He was responsible for erecting the first of the massive, themed resort-style casinos when the Mirage opened to the public in 1989.
Wynn, whose very name is synonymous with elegance and luxury, arguably transformed the casino industry worldwide, as the massive, Nevada-style casinos he pioneered are now the norm in gambling centers around the globe.
Apparently, Wynn still has a place in his heart for the Atlantic Club – called the Golden Nugget back when it first opened over thirty years ago – having called to check on the building’s fate in the aftermath of last year’s devastating Hurricane Sandy. Many of the features of the building, including marble flooring and other fixtures throughout the property, date to the original construction.
In the 1980’s the casino was one of the most profitable in Atlantic City, however in recent years the Atlantic Club has struggled along with the New Jersey casino industry as a whole, having rebranded itself in recent years as a downmarket brand primarily catering to locals.
New Jersey online gambling law requires land-based presence
New Jersey is the third state in the nation to have enacted a law permitting residents to participate in real-money online gambling. As part of the requirements of the law, companies who receive licensing approval from state gaming regulators must be tied to a land-based Atlantic City property, either via a purchase or an operating deal, making the Atlantic Club a prime target for such a purchase takeover, and a potentially very lucrative one at that.
Nevada was both the first state to pass online gambling regulation in the U.S. and the first to launch a regulated online poker site, however in the Silver State only online poker is permitted to the exclusion of other forms of Internet wagering. In Delaware and New Jersey, a broad spectrum of online betting options will be available to residents over 21 who are physically located in the respective states when accessing the sites, which are expected to launch in late October in Delaware and late November in New Jersey.
Atlantic Club has been making headlines all year
The Atlantic Club has been in the news for months, owing in large part to its attractiveness to potential buyers. Earlier this year, news broke that the parent company online poker giant PokerStars, Isle of Man-based the Rational Group, had entered into a contract to buy the property for $15 million.
That deal fell apart this past spring, after PokerStars failed to acquire interim licensing from New Jersey regulators prior to an outside date stipulated in the purchase agreement. After a court upheld the Atlantic Club’s termination of the contract, PokerStars announced that it had entered into an iGaming venture with Atlantic City’s oldest land-based casino property, Resorts Inc.