Foreign-based gaming companies can readily see that regulated online poker and gambling in the U.S. is likely to boom in the near future.
Many, such as 888 Holdings and bwin.party, have formed partnership agreements with existing U.S. casino companies in order to be included in the anticipated revenue bonanza. Another way to enter the U.S. market is via ownership of a land-based casino.
PokerStars attempted to finagle its way in via that method by purchasing New Jersey’s Atlantic Club casino, but was denied entry when it failed to secure licensing within the time frame specified in the contractual agreement. The world’s top online poker site lost $11 million in the process, much to the delight of the AGA and vengeful online gaming competitors who believe that PokerStars should not be permitted in the U.S. based on its willful disregard of the UIGEA.
Recent reports indicate that another overseas company is eyeing the Eastern seaboard as a way to plant roots in the U.S. online poker and gambling marketplace. The UK-based 2UP has revealed that some $300 million has been placed on the table by an Asian investment team along with a letter of intent to purchase an Atlantic City casino, northjersey.com reported.
That huge amount of cash seems to be overkill, as it is believed that real estate prices for Atlantic City casinos may be more in the neighborhood of $50 million. To that end, 2UP and its Asian financiers have also mentioned the idea of building their own casino on the boardwalk if acquiring an existing casino is deemed to be the less desirable of the two options.
The letter of intent has an expiration date just beyond the first week of September, which means that if no deal is in place within the next six weeks or so, that $300 million may be pulled off the table. On a purely speculative note, it seems likely that if discussions to acquire a casino are making progress, that deadline could be extended. The due date was probably included by the investors in order to facilitate a deal as quickly as possible in order to hopefully join the other casinos that are anticipating an Internet gambling launch in November.
2UP is headquartered in the UK and lists its online gaming license as issued in Curacao. Offering online poker, casino games, and sports betting, its 2up.com website launched in January of 2012.