Sometimes history has an uncomfortable way of catching up with you, especially if you’re prone to making disparaging remarks about the subject of your disdain. This is the dilemma facing Steve Wynn at the moment as the target of his ire is about to become one of the few places in the USA to begin online gambling.
Wynn of course wants in on this market but commentators have been quick to pick up on the fact that a mere six months ago he described the Garden State as ‘the enemy’. Wynn is the man behind bricks and mortar casino giants Wynn Las Vegas and Wynn Macau but it’s been a long time – 26 years to be precise – since he had any involvement in Atlantic City. He does however have gaming ambitions in Pennsylvania, a rival to New Jersey, and this is assumed to be the reason for the hostility towards NJ.
Now though, Wynn is one of 37 entities who have dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s on the paperwork required to apply for an online gaming license in New Jersey. It’s probably harsh to say that Wynn doesn’t like Atlantic City and the ‘enemy’ comment was made for a reason. He owned the Golden Nugget (now the Atlantic Club) there more than two decades ago but his interests have since concentrated on Vegas and Macau and more recently Pennsylvania.
The way online gaming will work in New Jersey is that any successful applicant will have to partner with a bricks and mortar casino; this will help keep some of the revenues within state lines. At this late stage most of the land-based casinos in Atlantic City have agreements in place with other online gaming operators so there aren’t many spots still up for grabs.
It’s interesting to note that the Atlantic Club is one of those without a partner following a failed agreement with Pokerstars several months ago so perhaps Steve Wynn will be returning exactly to the venue he sold back in 1987.