Atlantic City casino Resorts has unveiled the final piece of its initial foundation for offering regulated online gambling in New Jersey.
The company announced a partnership with SNG Interactive, a joint venture of Sportech and NYX Gaming, that will see SNG Interactive develop the online gambling platform to power the real-money casino offerings at ResortsCasino.com.
The companies are targeting a January 2015 launch date.
Resorts holds an Internet Gaming Permit in New Jersey, but has yet to launch a product. Sportech and NYX are not licensed in connection with online gambling in New Jersey, but Sportech is authorized to handle pari mutuel wagers in the state.
A press release from Resorts announcing the Sportech deal said that the PokerStars agreement “continues.” Officials from PokerStars confirmed to OPR that the news “does not impact our partnership with Resorts.”
Resorts’ press release also contained brief comments from Resorts owner Morris Bailey concerning Amaya’s proposed acquisition of PokerStars:
We welcomed the recent announcement by Amaya Gaming Group, Inc of its plans to acquire Rational which we expect will move the regulatory approval process forward. PokerStars is the leading world-wide brand in online gaming and we are looking forward to our future with them in New Jersey
According to Sportech Chief Executive Ian Penrose, the timeline for the Resorts agreement stretches back “a number of months,” meaning the ink was likely dry on this deal before the news of Amaya’s planned purchase emerged.
The deal between Resorts and SNG Interactive is likely primarily a result of the existing relationships between the parties. Resorts is managed by Mohegan Gaming Advisors, and Sportech provides the platform for Mohegan’s online horse betting site.
An interesting footnote to the deal: Amaya powers Mohegan Sun’s free-play poker site via Amaya’s Ongame platform. Given that neither Sportech or NYX appear to have a poker platform in their portfolio, Amaya would likely end up being Resorts’ poker supplier in New Jersey even if the PokerStars arrangement ended up falling apart.
But with the promise of a multi-million dollar investment in a land-based poker room and what look to be clear regulatory skies ahead, there’s little obvious reason to expect Resorts to choose any online poker partner but PokerStars.