London-listed betting and gaming operator Sportech is to enter the New Jersey online gaming market through a partnership with the company that had originally looked set to launch with PokerStars operator Rational Group, the Resorts Casino Hotel.
The partnership has been sealed between the land-based venue and SNG Interactive, Sportech’s joint venture with NYX Gaming Group, and will see the company supply Resorts Casino with a new online gaming platform.
Sportech and NYX will each invest up to $2m in the venture, with the platform expected to launch by January 2015. Once live it will offer a full range of online casino games provided by SNG, including roulette, blackjack and slots, as well as turnkey operational support including customer support and other services. There is no mention of online poker in the agreement.
The deal is the first initiative to be launched as part of Sportech’s drive to create an online gaming business division alongside its retail, telephone and online betting operations in the US. To aid this drive the joint venture with NYX Gaming Group was sealed in December last year, and earlier this month former Slingo chief executive Rich Roberts joined the operator as president of digital.
The games will be launched through NYX’s Open Platform System, and will include a selection from the supplier’s NextGen Gaming subsidiary as well as other leading suppliers integrated with the solution.
“The establishment of online gaming activities in New Jersey represents an important next step in the development of our US business and we are well positioned for future growth across the US as regulation permits,” he explained. “We have worked closely with Resorts and NYX for a number of months now, and look forward to the planned launch.”
NYX CEO Matt Davey said he was very proud to work with partners of the calibre of Resorts and Sportech, describing the casino as holding an iconic position in the industry.
“The combination of NYX’s flexible gaming solutions and extensive library of high quality game content will be key contributors to the unique positioning and success of Resorts iGaming venture,” Davey explained.
In July last year Resorts entered into a partnership with Rational Group which was expected to see the PokerStars and Full Tilt owner launch online poker and casino games with the venue. However the deal was put in jeopardy by New Jersey regulator the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) suspending the operator’s licence application for two years over concerns relating to the company’s post-UIGEA activities and the involvement of certain executives.
However Amaya Gaming Group chief executive David Baazov last week spoke of his plans to revive the partnership following his company’s $4.9bn acquisition of Rational last week. As the announcement specifically states that SNG will supply the venus with online casino games and does not mention poker, it remains to be seen whether Rational will still be involved.
Resorts is the oldest casino in Atlantic City, having opened in 1978, and was the first casino to open in the US outside of Nevada. It has been owned by DGMB Casino LLC since 2010, which saved the venue from being shut down after it had failed to pay its mortgage for over a year.
DGMB is owned by New York-based property developer Morris Bailey, which also holds a stake in the Connecticut-based casino operator Mohegan Sun, an existing customer of Sportech through its casino-based racebook and race course betting activities.