It didn’t take long for Eldorado Resorts Inc. to make a major move after acquiring Tropicana Entertainment, including the eponymous Atlantic City resort in New Jersey.
Sources tell Online Poker Report that ERI fired the in-house staff running NJ online casino operations for Tropicana AC.
The sources — who are close to the situation but not employees of Tropicana — believe it’s a vote of no interest and/or confidence in online gambling by the Trop’s new owner.
An inquiry with ERI requesting comment was not immediately returned. ERI just closed its acquisition of the whole Tropicana portfolio on Monday.
That’s not clear. However, it is unlikely that the online casino, which generates a portion of more than $3 million in revenue each month, would be shuttered.
Gamesys operates online casino for the Trop, and it appears that that company could just run everything for ERI without the involvement of in-house staff for ERI. Gamesys also runs Virgin online casino in New Jersey under the Trop’s license.
The cuts also were probably part of a broader series of cuts at the Trop, but sources had little insight into that.
Many in the gaming industry had assumed that Eldorado’s entrance into both New Jersey and Pennsylvania meant the company would be a willing and active participant in the online casino industry. But this move certainly seems to put a damper on that analysis.
Online gambling is a big part of the NJ casino market, and PA will likely have online casino by the end of year. ERI also purchased Lady Luck Nemacolin, one of 12 active PA casinos. As of now, Lady Luck has not petitioned to offer online gambling in the state, and that is leaving the door open for others.
Anyway, any thoughts that ERI could be a major player in online casino around the country have taken a hit with today’s news.
Its even less clear what any of this might mean for the future of El Dorado, the Trop and sports betting. But Eldorado is definitely looking to get involved in sports gambling.
Tropicana was already in the middle of building out a retail sportsbook on site. And Eldorado had partnered with William Hill to offer sports betting at its properties around the country.
Casinos and the racetracks in the state have quickly gotten into NJ sports betting online — there are eight apps active, including one from Will Hill. Tropicana was not apart of the initial rush led by DraftKings Sportsbook and others.
Whether Tropicana had planned to build its own online sportsbook into its online casino platform is unknown.