Shortly before Christmas, GAN (formerly GameAccount Network) inked a deal to provide its Simulated Gaming free-play product to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. On Friday, GAN announced that the parties had expanded their relationship to include GAN’s real-money online Regulated Gaming product “in the event certain conditions are met.”
GAN, which already provides real-money gambling technology to Betfair’s New Jersey online casino, says the real-money Borgata deal is dependent on New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) granting its regulatory approval as well as the Borgata “providing GAN with permission to commence operations.”
GAN and the Borgata are forging ahead with plans to launch the Simulated Gaming product in H1 2016 but no timeline was offered for real-money operations.
GAN CEO Dermot Smurfit said his firm was ready to pull the real-money trigger “in the event GAN receives Borgata’s consent to commence operations.” Borgata president Tom Balance was equally vague, saying only that the casino took “great comfort in having GAN’s excellent real money internet gaming product available to us as needed.”
The news is all the more interesting given recent rumors that the Borgata was reconsidering its current real-money online gambling technology partnership with Bwin.party digital entertainment. The Borgata-Bwin.party combo is the undisputed leader in New Jersey’s regulated online market, but Bwin.party’s recent takeover by GVC Holdings may have called this relationship into question.
Since the takeover, GVC has taken steps to reestablish the Bwin.party brands in the grey- and black-markets that Bwin.party exited several years ago. This has raised questions as to whether the DGE would find GVC a suitable candidate for licensing in New Jersey, although the DGE has said it will be business as usual for the Borgata-Bwin.party tandem while GVC’s application is being vetted.
So is the Borgata truly ready to change horses midstream or are they simply using GAN as leverage to wrangle a better deal with GVC? Watch this space…