When the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement scripted its regulatory guidelines for an online casino and poker market in the state, it was a strict prerequisite that all software providers from outside New Jersey must be partnered with an Atlantic City Casino in order to obtain a license. Trump Plaza negotiated such a partnership deal with UK-based online gaming giant Betfair, which subsequently launched BetfairCasino.com in the Garden State late last year. But with the imminent closure of Trump Plaza just 8 days away, the future of Betfair in New Jersey was questionable.
The popular land-based casino was built as a skyward destination on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, opening its doors to the public on May 26, 1984 as Harrah’s at Trump Plaza. Six months later, the facility was rebranded, dropping the Harrah’s association and taking on the truncated name Trump Plaza. 30 years’ worth of fond memories for many patrons and employees alike are being shared now as the Atlantic City casino is scheduled to close its doors for the last time on September 16, 2014.
The closure of Trump Plaza follows the cessation of activities at another nearby casino destination. The Showboat Atlantic City locked its doors on Sunday, August 31. However, from a virtual standpoint, the two situations are quite different. Showboat never bothered to obtain a license to launch an online casino site in New Jersey, whereas Trump Plaza did.
The online gaming company’s eligibility to continue operating BetfairCasino was a moot question that left many players nervous about the future of their accounts. It was initially believed that Betfair would either be left out in the cold, or would have to scramble to find another suitable iGaming partner with a land-based gambling destination in Atlantic City. Fortunately, such worries have finally been abolished by Director David Rebuck of the New Jersey DGE.
“The division will consider input from all involved parties to ensure a smooth transition as Trump Plaza winds down its operations and as Betfair continues its iGaming operations in the state,” read the statement from Director Rebuck. “They want to remain fully functional and stay in New Jersey, and we will work with them to do that.”
Also working in Betfair’s favor is the fact that its contract appears to be with Trump Entertainment Resorts, which happens to be the proprietor of another Atlantic City based casino, the Trump Taj Mahal. As a matter of fact, it’s come to light that the servers for Betfair’s online gaming operation in New Jersey were assembled in the Trump Taj Mahal, not the Trump Plaza, resulting in a seamless transition upon the closure of NJ’s 30 year old establishment.
Unfortunately, while BetfairCasino.com will remain intact in New Jersey, the lack of recognition for local players has failed to produce much in the way of revenue compared to the state’s other online gambling destinations. When Trump Resorts agreed to the partnership, Donald Trump specifically required that his name not be used in the interactive branding; hence the use of the domain name BetfairCasino.com, as opposed to what could have been a more regionally popular NJ.TrumpPlaza.com, for example.