UK Investment Company Looking to Get Into Atlantic City Casino Business
An investment and gaming company based in the United Kingdom, 2UP, is interested in either buying an existing Atlantic City land-based casino or developing one of their own, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
The company’s interest in gaining a foothold in Atlantic City is motivated by New Jersey’s newly-regulated Internet gambling market, expected to go live later on this fall. Atlantic City currently has twelve land-based casino properties.
2UP has raised millions toward the effort
The company has raised $330 million from investors based in Asia toward the project, it said this week.
2UP’s Chief Executive Officer, Marino Sussich remarked, “2UP has been working diligently for the past 12 months assembling the finest technology and strategy necessary to be a global leader in the i-gaming marketplace.”
“Emerging global gaming markets have created enormous growth opportunity for our company, and the United States launch of 2UP’s online gaming products will significantly add to our growth,” Sussich went on.
One major investor in the project is New York-based MidOil USA, an investment company that has already promised $75 million toward 2UP’s expansion into New Jersey and will also assist the company’s entrance in the U.S. gaming market.
“We have assembled an amazing team of local New Jersey professionals who are looking forward to helping revitalize Atlantic City by creating new jobs and opportunity,” said Vince Cranston, who serves as MidOil USA’s managing director.
Second foreign company to eye New Jersey
Back in February, New Jersey became the third state in the nation to approve Internet wagering when first-term Republican Governor – and rumored 2016 presidential hopeful – Chris Christie signed the state’s iGaming bill into law. Since then, all but two of Atlantic City’s dozen casino properties have announced partnership deals for online wagering ventures.
One such partnership is between Atlantic City’s oldest casino property, Resorts Inc., and the parent company of PokerStars, Isle of Man-based the Rational Group. PokerStars is the world’s largest online poker room, having recently celebrated the playing of the 100th billionth hand of online poker at the site.
The agreement between PokerStars and Resorts was announced at the beginning of July, right on the heels of a legal defeat for PokerStars in their attempt to purchase another Atlantic City casino, the Atlantic Club Casino Hotel. PokerStars had been in negotiations to take over the struggling “locals-only” Atlantic Club since late last year, having already paid $11 million toward a $15 million total purchase price by the time Atlantic Club officials terminated the deal in April.
A judge eventually upheld the Atlantic Club’s dissolution of the purchase agreement, which was triggered by a failure on the part of PokerStars to secure an interim operating license to run the casino before a drop-dead date stipulated in the purchase agreement, which was signed back in December of 2012.
The revelation that PokerStars was able to strike a deal with Resorts came as welcome positive news for the company, however both companies await approval by New Jersey gaming regulators.
Atlantic City pinning hopes on online wagering
The dreams of a brighter economic future for Atlantic City are closely tied to the Internet gambling, which experts believe will revive New Jersey’s flagging casino industry by broadening the customer base by attracting younger, more technologically-savvy gamblers to the Garden State.
Casino revenue in Atlantic City has decline every year for the past six years, having peaked back in 2006. Last year, Pennsylvania took the title of the second-largest gambling market in the U.S. away from Atlantic City, having successfully lured gamblers across state lines to patronize its newer, more modern casino properties.
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