Alongside Las Vegas, Atlantic City has long been associated with attracting flocks of visitors to its dazzling casinos.
However, over the past six years, the New Jersey city has experienced dwindling profits and is betting that online gaming could well be the solution to their problem.
Whilst this may sound counter-productive (after all, if players are allowed to legally gamble online, surely they’d have less reason to visit land-based clubs), Atlantic City’s casinos are looking at e-gaming operators as partners rather than competitors.
This stance couldn’t be further from the one taken by Las Vegas Sands’ CEO, Sheldon Adelson, who was recently quoted in Forbes as saying that online gambling was “a societal train wreck waiting to happen.”
However, the casino clubs in Atlantic City have had to compete with the likes of casinos in Jersey Shore and Pennsylvania, and have spent a large portion of 2013 negotiating deals with online operators – many of whom are based overseas. Unlike Mr. Adelson, the A.C. clubs are looking at online gaming as a necessity and a life-line if they wish to stay on top of their game. Even Dennis Farrell Junior (an analyst at Wells Fargo) estimated earlier this year that online gambling would boost casino revenues by $200m in the first year of legalisation.