Ultimate Gaming runs 2 sites in New Jersey currently, but not for long. The company that claims nearly 50% of the online poker gambling in Nevada has not done nearly as well in the Garden State. Last week’s announcement that Ultimate Gaming was shutting down both the ucasino.com and ultimatepoker.com operations in New Jersey follows close on the heels of the Taj Mahal announcing its upcoming closure in November. Trump Entertainment, the parent company of the Taj, currently owns Ultimate Gaming at least $1.5 million. Ultimate Gaming executives stated that they have not received a scheduled revenue payment from the Taj in months. Not exactly how you want a fledgling partner in a very competitive market to treat you.
NJ Internet Gamblers Should Be Largely Unaffected
What this means for the New Jersey online poker and casino players that enjoy virtual gambling is … not much, really. The 3 biggest operators in that state are still going strong, and boast the majority of player traffic. And Senator Ray Lesniak has recently and frequently announced the return of PokerStars to the state’s iGaming marketplace. Licensing could be pushed through as early as Thanksgiving of this year, with the world’s largest online poker operator delivering a viable product for the holiday season. The confluence of events which negatively impacted Ultimate Gaming’s chance for a successful operation in New Jersey had more to do with poor timing and bad luck by that company than any operational blunders on their part.
Ultimate Gaming Chairman Tom Breitling expressed regret about the departure, stating that it was purely a financial decision. He said his company would love to return to the Garden State in the future, and thanked the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for his company’s opportunity to offer online gaming to the citizens of New Jersey. If the Taj Mahal does indeed close on November 14 as is projected, that will make the 4th physical casino to shut its doors in the past year in New Jersey. While that may seem like a bad sign for the Internet gambling industry in the state, several studies have shown that virtual and physical NJ gamblers are usually 2 entirely different animals. This means that the online gambling industry should not be adversely affected, as long as there are at least a few viable casino properties hosting cyber gambling products.
Will The Ultimate Gaming New Jersey Closure Affect the Nevada Operation?
With basically half of the Nevada online poker revenue, the Ultimate Gaming Silver State operation will remain unaffected by the New Jersey departure. The Ultimate Poker room is owned for the most part by Station Casinos, and headquartered in Las Vegas. The company had hoped to establish an intrastate player pool sharing operation between Nevada and New Jersey, but that will obviously have to wait unless Ultimate Gaming partners up with some other Garden State online gaming company. The New Jersey iGaming operation is just over 1 year old, and for all intents and purposes has been a successful venture even if it has not generated the type of revenue figures that Governor Chris Christie had hoped for.
Poker Pros Abandon Ultimate Poker Before NJ Ultimate Gaming Exit
In what could or could not be a related announcement, a couple of poker pros have severed ties with Ultimate Poker. William Reynolds left the company after issuing some ugly and rather childlike statements about that relationship. And just last week, Jason Somerville announced that he was also leaving UP as a representative. Claiming that he is “not a cheap date,” Somerville said the departure was amicable, and had nothing but good things to say about Ultimate Poker. Whether or not those poker stars were aware of Ultimate Gaming’s proposed withdrawal from New Jersey was not clear at the time this article went to press.