Another closing date has been set for Trump Taj Mahal. The bankrupt Atlantic City casino has set December 12, 2014 as the day it will cease all operations. Trump Entertainment, its parent company, filed for bankruptcy protection in September. The original proposed closing date for Trump Taj Mahal was November 13, 2014. It was then pushed back to on or about December 1st. Barring any last minute bailout, it appears that the casino will be forced to close on or near its new date of December 12 as it runs out of operating cash.
U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp ruled in the favor of five major sports leagues in the fight for New Jersey sports betting. Judge Shipp cited the same rulings made in the first court challenge. Judge Shipp felt that the new law in New Jersey is not a repeal of a prohibition, but instead a regulation scheme in violation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. New Jersey announced that it will appeal the ruling.
The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Wynn Resorts was under investigation. The report stated that the Internal Revenue Service requested a list of the top 100 customers in North America and top 50 from countries around the world. Wynn Resorts denies that it is under any investigation, to the best of its knowledge. A company spokesperson told the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “The fact that information is requested from us by a governmental agency in no way implies the accusation of any wrongdoing by the company”.
Massachusetts regulators are looking for ways to protect problem gamblers. One proposal would place gamblers into a time or loss limit program. Players would be automatically enrolled with the option of opting out of the program.
Needless to say, the casinos looking to enter Massachusetts did not support such a proposal. Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International and Penn National Gaming, three companies looking to build resorts in the state, agreed that problem gambling should be addressed. The casino companies were not supportive of a program that would force players into it.
There were two big stories this week in the regulated online gaming industry. Ultimate Gaming, which launched the first regulated online poker site in the country under the Ultimate Poker brand in April 2013, ceased operations in Nevada on November 17. The company left New Jersey on October 5, 2014, citing the bankruptcy of its partner Trump Taj Mahal as the reason for the departure from the market.
Pala Interactive launched an online casino in New Jersey through a partnership with Borgata. It operates under the Pala Casino brand. The site uses Amaya Gaming casino software. Pala Interactive is led by CEO Jim Ryan, former CEO of Party Gaming. He was CEO of the parent company of online poker site UltimateBet in the mid 2000’s.