Casino

Borgata places bwin.party partnership under review

Borgata

New Jersey operator understood to be considering platform switch as GVC takeover of bwin.party nears

New Jersey casino operator the Borgata is considering severing ties with its platform provider bwin.party and has already begun scouring the market for an alternative supplier, eGR North America understands. [private]

According to sources close to the situation, GVC Holdings’ takeover of bwin.party, which is set to complete next week, has prompted the Borgata to draw up a ‘Plan B’ with the firm harbouring doubts over GVC’s ability to obtain a licence in New Jersey as well as its long-term commitment to the market.

GVC has already filed a license application with the New Jersey regulator and will be allowed to continue to operate the bwin.party business in the state while the process is carried out.

Speaking to eGR NA, a bwin.party spokesperson said the firm was currently in discussions with the Bogarta over its post-acquisition plans and stressed bwin.party was “very keen to carry on” the partnership.

However, the Borgata wants to keep its options open and is understood to have begun talks with a number of potential suppliers to power its BorgataCasino.com and BorgataPoker.com sites.

When contacted by eGR NA, a Borgata spokesperson said the firm remained under contract with bwin.party, although refused to comment on whether it had engaged with alternative suppliers.

With the takeover yet to complete, GVC’s commitment to the US market remains unclear and last week chief executive Kenny Alexander told eGR NA the New Jersey business was not one of the soon-to-be enlarged firm’s top priorities.

“We’d like to get a New Jersey licence and keep the optionality of the US,” Alexander said. “But the real reason we acquired bwin is for the sportsbook, poker, casino and bingo businesses and not for the US, but we’d like to get a New Jersey license and we’ll see how we get on,” he added.

A spokesperson for GVC said the operator fully expected to gain the required permit to operate in the Garden State.

“GVC is committed to gaining a New Jersey Gambling Commission license and is currently progressing its application with the relevant authorities. It can see no reason why it should not be successful in its application and looks forward to working with historic bwin partners in the US going forward,” the spokesperson said.

The Borgata has led the charge in New Jersey since the market first opened back in 2013, and saw gross gaming revenue increase 3.1% for FY15 to $45.7m.

Borgata | Bwin.party | Casino | Gvc | Holdings | New Jersey | Platform | Poker

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