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The decision to remain with GVC follows a year of industry speculation that Borgata was actively exploring partnerships with other online gambling platform providers.
The rumors picked up steam following the sale of bwin.party to GVC, which was finalized in early 2016.
Among the most commonly cited candidates were Pala (which already operates a New Jersey online casino and bingo site under Borgata’s license) and GAN.
For its part, GVC said it “was very keen” to continue its relationship with Borgata, which it proved by filing for an online gaming license with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“As part of its preliminary investigation, DGE examined GVC’s business operations and concluded, “GVC and its individual qualifiers possess the requisite good character, honesty, and integrity should it file for a transactional waiver.” DGE determined that the New Jersey licenses held by bwin.party shall remain valid under GVC’s ownership and a transactional waiver is not needed in connection with existing New Jersey contracts. Additionally, DGE ordered the termination of the Monitoring Agreement under which bwin.party had been operating since the acquisition by GVC.”
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For the first 34 months of its existence, Borgata was at the top of New Jersey’s monthly online gambling revenue charts, which made the continuous speculation that it was unhappy with GVC/partypoker surprising to some.
It was reported that Borgata was concerned about GVC’s ability to procure a license, but other factors may have also been at play that led to Borgata reassessing its partnership with GVC.
Following the acquisition of Bally Technologies by Scientific Games in 2014, Golden Nugget made the difficult decision to switch online gambling partners.
Thomas Winter, the Head of Online Gaming at Golden Nugget, said of the decision to switch to NYX, “On our end, we wanted a fully committed partner to keep improving their platform and our players’ experience. So we both figured out it was best to change.”
The changeover paid dividends, and may have prompted the Borgata to consider going with a more committed partner.
Even though it was the market share leader, Borgata’s lead was tenuous.
Golden Nugget surpassed Borgata in October, despite its lack of an online poker room.
Considering the casino’s land-based dominance in the Atlantic City market, its online performance could be seen as disappointing by Borgata brass, particularly on the online poker side where it ranks last, trailing both WSOP NJ/888 and PokerStars.