Ultimate Gaming Closes In Nevada

Ultimate Poker Logo
Ultimate Poker

It’s been rumored all summer that Ultimate Gaming (and Ultimate Pokerwould be closing but that was just people talking. After shutting down in New Jersey earlier this year Nevada has ceased operations. Everything is official now. Here’s the press release:



Las Vegas, Nevada (November 14, 2014) – Ultimate Gaming announced today that it will cease online poker operations in Nevada effective immediately upon complying with all necessary gaming regulatory requirements. The Company also recently ended all online gaming operations in New Jersey.

“As has been the case in other jurisdictions, online poker revenues in Nevada have fallen far short of original projections,” said Tom Breitling, Chairman of Ultimate Gaming. “Moreover, the state-by-state approach to online gaming has created an extremely cost-prohibitive and challenging operating environment. These factors have combined to make the path to profitability very difficult and uncertain. Consequently, we have decided to cease operations.”

“We are grateful to the Nevada Gaming Commission and Gaming Control Board for allowing us to be the first company to operate online poker in Nevada and greatly appreciate their leadership and support as the first state to license and regulate online poker,” continued Breitling. “We are working closely with the Gaming Control Board to ensure a smooth transition for our customers as we cease Nevada operations.”

Ultimate Gaming customers seeking information concerning their account can go online atwww.ultimatepoker.com and click Support.

Dana White Playing Online Blackjack In New Jersey Is Fun

Dana White Playing Online Blackjack in New Jersey
Dana White Playing Online Blackjack in New Jersey

Ultimate Casino just launched in New Jersey with a host of other online gaming websites. Ultimate Casino’s parent company is Station Casinos also owns the UFC which is a marketing partner for Ultimate Poker and Ultimate casino. With that in mind you may have noticed Dana White, big boss at UFC, has been helping the launch of both websites.

Dana White was joined by Frankie Edgar (UFC fighter) and JWoww (Jersey Shore). The latter two are as interesting as you’d imagine (they’re not interesting at all). On the other hand, Dana White is hysterical. He seems like most of the dudes his age that I end up playing blackjack with in a casino.

This video is over 7 minutes long. If you just want the good stuff from Dana White just skip to 2:25.


New Jersey Governor Expecting $1 Billion From Online Gaming

Ultimate Casino
Ultimate Casino

New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, is at again. He’s blustering about gaming and spewing information that he can’t and won’t back up. If you remember, last year, Christie famously was going to legalize sports betting in New Jersey no matter what was legal.

“If someone wants to stop us, then let them try to stop us.”

That fight will continue to the Supreme Court. So much for Christie’s brash tone. While sports betting may not become legal in New Jersey any time soon online gaming just went live. It’s gone live in a big way with over 51,000 people signing up in the first few weeks.

More than 14,000 new online gambling accounts were created with Atlantic City casinos since Friday, bringing the total to 51,352 since a trial period started on Nov. 21.

Response for online gaming in New Jersey has been massive. For comparison Nevada has about 1,000 online poker players. Nevada is a much smaller state with no major cities like New York and Philadelphia bordering so take the comparison lightly – it’s just a reference.

It will be interesting to see how many of these accounts stay active and how many more will open in the next year. Chris Christie seems to think that online gaming will produce $1 Billion in revenue by July.

Gov. Chris Christie said today that he still expects online gambling in New Jersey to produce about $1 billion in casino revenue by July 1.

Nobody believes Christie will be right.

Industry analysts have said Christie’s projection — part of the current state budget, which anticipates $160 million in tax revenue from the venture — is far too optimistic….analysts said they expect about $300 million in revenue by this time next year.

In order for Chris Christie to be correct each of the 50,000 players that are signed up must lose $20,000 in 7 months. Even if sign ups double to 100,000 active players each would have to lose $10,000 in that period.

It’s not that this is a lofty goal but it’s irrational. Online gamblers traditionally play much lower limits than people who play in live casinos. You may be familiar with the term micros from the poker world.

I trust industry analysts more than I trust any politician. I hope his budget has a backup plan for the 70% of revenue shortfall that this line item will produce.

Online Gaming Yes, Sports Betting No In New Jersey

Atlantic City Boardwalk Waterfront At Night
Atlantic City Waterfront At Night

It’s not news that online gaming has become legal in New Jersey. What is news is that there is a start date.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Online gaming in New Jersey will begin November 23rd. That date is still tentative so it can always move but I’m sure that the state and casinos would like the gaming companies to have their stuff together in time for holiday money.

In a matter of two months or so, gaming regulators in the State of New Jersey will start giving the “go live” signal to launch Internet gaming websites of Atlantic City casinos that passed vetting processes. The much-awaited date is tentatively set on November 23, 2013. 

New Jersey will allow all types of gaming online. Even though Nevada is first out of the gate with online poker being available with Ultimate Poker and WSOP they’re only allowing poker. This is a good start for Nevada but the ability to play video poker and slot machines will really be where online gaming makes a dent in the bottom line for a casino or gaming company.

In Nevada you can bet on sports online or in a casino sportsbook. You won’t be able to do either in New Jersey any time soon with another lost court case. Have no fear, the Supreme Court will be here to save the day to legalize sports betting in New Jersey!

“For the first time, a judge has ruled in our favor,” state senator Ray Lesniak said. “That gives us hope that others, either Supreme Court justices or the entire Court of Appeals for our district, will allow New Jersey to enjoy the economic benefits of sports betting that are now reserved exclusively for Nevada.”

The next step will be to seek a rehearing before all judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.  Then, the case would head to the U.S. Supreme Court, which only takes up a small percentage of the cases presented to it.

There is a huge market for sports betting on the east coast and this could be a huge financial impact when it becomes legal. For comparison sports betting in New Jersey will be about the same as the Las Vegas strip. That’s just the strip – not the rest of Nevada. That’s a big deal.

Since I live in Las Vegas I think I’ll go fire up one of my apps and bet on a game….because I can. 🙂

Photo: Soul of America 

Is An Online Poker License In New Jersey Worth $15 Million?

Atlantic Club Casino
Atlantic Club Casino

PokerStars tried, and failed, to buy Atlantic Club Casino to get their foot in the door for when New Jersey legalizes online poker. The deal they thought they had been for only $15 million.

What do you do if you’ve got a purchase agreement with Colony Capital and the latter allegedly reneges on you? If you’re Rational Group, which thought it had a $15 million deal in place to purchase the Atlantic Club Hotel, the answer is simple: “We’ll see you in court.” 

While the deal with PokerStars is, publicly, still up in the air it seems as if Atlantic Club Casino is still searching for a buyer. But is $15 million even worth it to buy a casino just to earn online gaming revenue? Not so fast my friend.

Online wagering could bring in a comparatively scant $30 million … not surprising given the difficulty that some of the major players are having getting onto the field.

If you divide online gaming revenue between 10 companies that’s $3 million per company. That’s not much revenue at all and certainly wouldn’t make buying into a dying casino market worthwhile. However, this is short-sighted. Online gaming is an investment today.

Online poker will grow once it becomes legal. Online poker is also a gateway to other online gaming revenue for a casino. Whenever sports betting is legalized it will also earn revenue for online gaming companies.

Looking much further into the future online gaming will include slot machines and video poker. Playing slot machines online has always felt a little sketchy but the most trusted companies for online gaming will be the familiar companies with a good track record elsewhere.

Further, Atlantic Club Casino has undergone renovations over the past few years. It’s not a dump in need of a major facelift. With minimal investment it could be made into a marginal casino that could someday turn a profit – even if it’s a small profit. There is still some value in connecting online business with a brick and mortar business.

So, is an online poker license worth $15 million and whatever investment you’d have to make in the Atlantic Club Casino? In the long-term, absolutely.

Photo – Atlantic City Insiders

People Barely Like Sports Betting But Hate Internet Betting

The American public has spoken and the majority of them are OK with sports gaming. However they want you to get off your butt to be on sports.

The nationwide telephone poll found 51 percent in favor of sports betting and 27 percent backing Internet gambling.

The article goes deeper into the demographics of the poll. The article seems to be angled towards putting a positive spin on legalizing sports betting in New Jersey.

The one really interesting nugget that really should be the headline is that 20% of American men have bet on sports.

The article also states that the 51% approval is up from 39% in March. It seems as if the general public is coming around on sports betting.

Between ESPN’s Colin Cowherd talking about sports betting every week on his radio show and CBS Sports including spreads in their matchups online there has been a building awareness of sports betting in mainstream America.

New Jersey may know as soon as next week if they’ll get legal sports gaming (check out the Chad Millman podcast to hear lawyers discuss) and while that won’t change things across the country right away you can bet the other states that have legal gambling will get in line for sports gaming.


Atlantic City Wants To Be “Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming”

Hold your laughter now, but New Jersey senator Raymond Lesniak wants Atlantic City to become “Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming.” This was said as New Jersey is trying to make it legal to gamble online…now.

New Jersey gamblers could start placing online bets through Atlantic City-based gaming websites within six months if state legislators succeed in pushing through a new law next week.

The rush to change New Jersey regulations follows a Dec. 23 ruling by the U.S. Department of Justice that removes obstructions to states pursuing online gaming. Also, the state is trying to catch up to Nevada, which established its own rules for online gaming Dec. 22.

While Mr. Lesniak seems to be the only person in New Jersey trying to push gaming, the state is generally a few beers short of a six pack when it comes to getting anything done to put itself ahead of other gambling markets, let alone tech markets. New Jersey, as a whole, always seems like the little brother in gaming and it’s cute to watch them want to play with the big boys. Good luck.

PS: Mr. Senator, you haven’t used twitter in a while, you may want to get on that before you become “Silicon Valley of Internet Gaming.”

PPS: #Seriously



New Jersey Votes To Approve Sports Betting…Now What?

Yesterday, New Jersey voters approved a referendum that would allow sports betting in the state if a federal ban on sports betting is lifted.

But first, a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states would have to be lifted by Congress or overturned by the courts for New Jersey to offer wagering on professional and college teams.

It’s smart that New Jersey is allowing sports betting to take place at racetracks, because who would bother driving to Atlantic City to make a $50 wager on a game from northern New Jersey or New York or Pennsylvania. Perhaps this will lead the way to New Jersey having racinos at those same racetracks in the future. But what’s next?

  1. After the federal ban is lifted (which is rumored to be done already) casinos will have to undergo a major transformation.
  2. Atlantic City casinos will have to buy DirecTV or some kind of satellite system to show the games that people can bet on. Currently, casinos mostly show basic cable and local sports. It’s pretty much BS that I could never watch a Jets game in Atlantic City. This will not be acceptable if they begin to take wagers on all sports.
  3. Atlantic City casinos will have to figure out which boxing or MMA matches they can show, if any. Currently Pay Per View events are controlled by the casinos hosting the events and usually only shown on their properties. Will Caesars get back into hostin boxing matches since they own four eleven Atlantic City casinos?
  4. Sports and racebooks will have to be expanded to show more than just horse racing and to be able to facilitate more bettors and viewers.
Studies show that there will be a boatload of money earned from sports betting for the casinos to make these changes (and more).
Citing a University of Pennsylvania study conducted last year, Pascrell (a lobbyist who is working with Raymond Lesniak on the sports betting campaign.) also said sports betting is expected to generate more than $10 billion in annual wagering. New Jersey would get an 8 percent cut of the betting action through the state’s gross wagering tax.
Again, this is all just in the early stages and quite frankly I don’t believe these numbers are real but we’ll have to see. For more information on the approval of sports betting in New Jersey take a look at the Press of Atlantic City and Covers.com.

“You’d have to be stupid” to Visit Las Vegas in the Summer

“You’d have to be stupid” to visit Las Vegas in the summer. This is what New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Wednesday while making a speech to help “save Atlantic City.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says “you’d have to be stupid” to visit Las Vegas in the summer. Atlantic City, Christie says, is a much cooler summer destination.

The governor made his comments Wednesday while introducing a redevelopment expert whose new job is helping to save Atlantic City.

John Palmieri is the new executive director of the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority. Christie put the revamped agency in charge of efforts to make the nation’s second-largest gambling market cleaner, safer and more successful in the face of withering competition from casinos in neighboring states.

As usual, the Las Vegas media gets defensive, but the truth is that a lot of people from the east coast feel this way. People from the east coast aren’t used to the heat and tend to avoid travelling west in the summer for vacation.

The warm weather feels much better to us in the winter when it’s the west considers it cold. The picture above was taken from my back yard last winter around 7am. By 4pm everything was dry and I was outside in shorts as the temperatures were up to the 50’s.

After spending my first summer in Las Vegas I can confirm that the heat isn’t a big deal and there really is something to the term “dry heat”, although 115 sucks with or without humidity.

The governor could have chosen his words better to support Atlantic City, but the sentiment isn’t far from how many people on the east coast feel. In the end, it’s no big deal.


Sports Betting In New Jersey Answers Coming Soon…Kinda

New Jersey residents will have a chance to vote to legalize sports betting in their state this November.  While the vote is currently in favor of sports betting with 53% saying yes and 30% saying no the vote is really still a coin flip.  Even if the residents of New Jersey vote to allow sports betting there is still a national hurdle to jump.

…a federal ban on sports betting in all but four states would have to be repealed or overturned before people could start plunking down cash on the Jets, Giants or Eagles. A lawsuit filed by State Sen. Raymond Lesniak of Union Country aims to overturn the law.

New Jersey missed out on its chance to legalize sports betting in 1991 when it failed to meet a deadline for approving it.

Well, you have to walk before you can run so if NJ wants sports betting their congress people and residents are going to have to get the vote out and make it happen.  Good luck!