UK-Based Firm Eyes Atlantic City Investment

Flag of the United Kingdom

UK Gaming Company 2UP Wants in on Atlantic City Action

Since the governor of the state of New Jersey, first-term Republican Chris Christie, signed into law legislation that will soon allow Garden State residents to place real-money wagers over the Internet, the interest in Atlantic City’s twelve land-based casinos has heated up.

Now, a firm based in Britain, 2UP Gaming PLC, has expressed interest in purchasing an existing casino property in the city. If that is not a possibility, the company is also open to developing and constructing a brand-new property.

Firm is hoping to move quickly

According to news web site, 2UP is looking to move quickly; they would like to have a deal in place by September.

2UP has partnered with U.S.-based MidOil USA in the venture, having already lined up $330 million in investments toward the endeavor. Should the group fail to find a property to purchase by the September date, they will announce at that time their building plans, said Vince Crandon, who is a managing partner of MidOil USA.

“The intent is really to be prepared to build anew. It’s not a light endeavor,” Crandon was quoted as saying.

Atlantic City struggling to regain revenue lost across state lines

New Jersey, which became the third state in the nation to regulate some form of online gambling when Christie inked the law back in February, requires its nascent Internet gambling industry to be centered in Atlantic City, its struggling seaside gambling mecca.

Recently, the city is nearly as famous for its economic woes and the damage it sustained in last year’s destructive Superstorm Sandy as it is its famous boardwalk. Gambling revenue in Atlantic City has declined each of the last six years, having hit a peak seven years ago in 2006.

Atlantic City’s suffering has turned out to mean profits for neighboring Pennsylvania, as casino patrons flock to Philadelphia’s newer casino properties, only about an hour’s drive away from Atlantic City.

Law requires land-based casino operation

Officials are hoping that the introduction of online gambling will help to stem the tide of loss there with an influx of a new breed of gamblers eager to begin placing wagers via their computers and mobile devices.

In order to qualify for a license to operate an online betting site in New Jersey, companies must be affiliated with a land-based property, prompting many such partnerships in recent months.

While 2UP, which has its headquarters in Australia, has not yet expressed any interest in a particular Atlantic City property, in announcing its intent to invest in the New Jersey market it becomes the second offshore company to attempt an entry into the U.S. online betting market.

PokerStars was the first foreign-based company to partner in New Jersey

Earlier this month, online poker behemoth PokerStars announced that it has reached an iGaming agreement with Resorts, Inc., the operator of the oldest land-based casino in Atlantic City.

PokerStars had previously failed in an attempt to break into the market via the purchase of the struggling Atlantic Club Casino Hotel, a deal that fell through this past spring after the parent company of PokerStars, Isle of Man-based the Rational Group, did not acquire an interim casino operating license in accordance with the terms of a purchase contract signed late last year.