Ultimate Gaming leaving NJ, Angry at Trump Taj Mahal

Having already lost four casinos this year, New Jersey has now seen its first online gaming operation exit the state. Ultimate Gaming, which was partnered with Trump Taj Mahal, is leaving New Jersey after a largely unsuccessful run. And Ultimate is blaming the Taj Mahal’s parent company, Trump Entertainment Resorts, for many of the problems.

The internet gaming company says that Trump Entertainment owes them $1.5 million, but has failed to make any payments in two months. “We are owed about $1.5 million from Trump Entertainment,” Marc Falcone, Ultimate’s senior vice president, told Philly.com. “We in effect haven’t been paid for more than two months. Money that the site generated and that we are owed, we were never given.”

Falcone added, “We wish things would have turned out differently for us. Unfortunately, as they say in poker, we were not dealt a good hand.”

Aside from the payment debacle, Ultimate Gaming’s poor performance was likely a motivator in vowing to leave the state. They were ranked last out of the state’s six online operators through August. Their $4.9 million in total iGaming revenue lags well behind the market leader, Parry Borgata, which has generated $30 million thus far.

Although Ultimate is leaving New Jersey, the Las Vegas-based company will still have an operation in Nevada. They run an online poker room in the Silver State because internet casino games aren’t regulated there. The poker site quickly made a splash after signing multiple poker pros to their roster of sponsored players, including Antonio Esfandiari. But while Esfandiari remains, many of their other pros have been trimmed off the roster.

Moving to the New Jersey iGaming market, it has fallen far short of expectations. Through August, the operation has made less than $87 million. Governor Chris Christie estimated that his state’s online gaming would bring in over 10 times this amount by July. However, typical start-up problems have plagued the operation ever since the beginning.

One of the biggest problems is payment processing, with around 50% of credit card payments being rejected. Another problem facing the market is geolocation issues, where New Jersey customers aren’t deemed to be within state lines when they go to play. A third dilemma has been software products that aren’t quite on par with the international iGaming industry. All of these issues are expected to improve as the market matures, however, they’ve certainly played a negative role so far.