On Thursday, eGaming Review quoted sources saying Borgata management was rethinking its Bwin.party relationship due to concerns that Bwin.party’s new owner GVC Holdings won’t qualify for a New Jersey gaming license.
GVC, which struck a deal to acquire Bwin.party last year, stated at the time that it would apply for a New Jersey license in order to maintain its market-leading online presence in the state. But GVC has a significant presence in many grey- and black markets and has stated its intention to re-enter the Bwin.party brands into the markets Bwin.party exited in 2013 prior to getting its New Jersey license.
eGR’s sources claim the Borgata has drawn up a ‘Plan B’ based on its doubts about GVC’s ability to clear the regulatory hurdles, as well as questions regarding GVC’s commitment to the market. The Borgata has reportedly already initiated discussions with other technology suppliers.
A GVC spokesperson said GVC remained “committed” to getting a New Jersey license and saw “no reason” why its application wouldn’t be accepted, But just last week GVC CEO Kenneth Alexander was downplaying the importance of the New Jersey deal, saying the acquisition was all about getting control of Bwin.party’s technology and brands “and not for the US.”
Bwin.party holds a 55% stake in the US-facing joint venture with the Borgata’s co-owners Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts. Bwin.party has inked prospective online partnerships with casinos in Pennsylvania and California that may also be up for grabs should GVC’s US ambitions fail or its interest wane.
Meanwhile, the Borgata just announced it would spend $50m spiffing up its brick-and-mortar property’s non-gaming amenities. These upgrades include a new 3,200-square-foot outdoor pool to rival those ever popular Las Vegas swimming holes, a new nightclub and more meeting and conference space.