Scientific Games announced last week that it has partnered with Wynn Resorts to launch online sports betting and iGaming (read: online casino) in New Jersey.
In an extremely short press release, devoid of any useful information whatsoever, Scientific Games said:
Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) (“Scientific Games”) will partner with Wynn Resorts, Ltd. (“Wynn Resorts”) to support the launch of Wynn Resorts’ unique digital sports betting and iGaming applications in the U.S. Wynn Resorts intends to initially launch in New Jersey and utilize several Scientific Games products and services including: a sports betting and iGaming system; a managed sports trading service and Scientific Games’ market-leading content aggregation system that is home to more than 2,000 digital games such as 88 Fortunes®, Raging Rhino®, Zeus® and more.
Steve Wynn, Online Gaming Waffler
Wynn Resorts has flip-flopped over the past decade on internet gambling, most recently falling into the “do not want” crowd. But with company founder Steve Wynn out of the picture as of last year, the company’s new leadership appears to be heading in its own direction.
Ten years ago, Steve Wynn, seen as a vanguard in the gambling industry, was firmly against online gambling, believing it could not be regulated and monitored properly. In 2011, though, he had reversed course, telling the L.A. Times, “We are convinced that the lack of regulation of Internet gaming within the US must change. We must recognize that this activity is occurring and that law enforcement does not have the tools to stop it…. It is time that the thousands of jobs created by this business and the potentially significant tax dollars come home to the US.”
And then, in March of that year, Wynn partnered with PokerStars to create a site called PokerStarsWynn.com. That partnership fell apart a few weeks later, when Black Friday rocked the online poker world.
In 2014, Wynn Resorts acquired an internet gaming license in New Jersey. More recently, though, Steve Wynn again changed his mind, saying that he was opposed to online gambling. Though he has similar political positions as Sheldon Adelson (Wynn is very cozy with Donald Trump), he has not gone so far as Adelson and tried to get online poker banned.
Wynn Needs a Home in Atlantic City
But now Steve Wynn is out and disgraced and the company is forging ahead. The big question that was not addressed in the press release, though, is with what casino in New Jersey will it partner? Only the Atlantic City casinos are allowed to operate online gaming sites, so other licensees and operators must partner with one.
Steve Ruddock of PlayNJ.com breaks down the possibilities in an article quite nicely, narrowing it down to Ocean Casino Resort, Tropicana, and Hard Rock, primarily because they would be the ones with available branding slots. His guess, which makes complete sense, is that Wynn will partner with Ocean Casino Resort of those three because it is independently owned (it has been having financial troubles and was recently sold) and does not compete with Wynn properties anywhere.