Borgata (And GVC) Find Themselves In Hot Water With NJ Regulators Again

Borgata and GVC Holdings will pay more than $120,000 in fines for accepting almost $42K in NJ online gambling wagers from 12 self-excluded persons.

GVC and its land-based partner, Borgata, will pay more than $120,000 in fines for violations regarding self-excluded persons.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) fined the operators in two orders dated March 8.

Both orders emerged from the same collective incident.

Bwin.party, which was acquired by GVC, and Borgata accepted $41,759.49 in online wagers from 12 individuals who had placed themselves on the voluntary self-exclusion list.

More on the self-exclusion rule and Borgata’s missteps

A self-excluded person is a person who, for whatever reason (though it’s usually addiction), chooses to impose a permanent self-ban from casino facilities. That ban includes NJ online gambling.

Since these are the most vulnerable, state agencies recognize that they have a duty to protect these people from themselves. As such, the incident with Borgata did not go unnoticed.

The DGE filed a complaint on Dec. 20, 2018. Neither the self-excluded players nor Borgata objected to the DGE’s ruling.

In accordance with DGE rules (N.J.S.A. 5:12-71.3), the DGE ordered Borgata to forfeit the money back to the division.

In the second order, the DGE fined bwin.party $81,000.

The second strike of the month for Borgata

The forfeiture and fine come on the heels of another incident involving Borgata and its online casinos in New Jersey.

This month, the DGE finally settled a case of out-of-state play dating back to 2014.

Regulators had discovered that a player named Vinh Dao had managed to place wagers from a location in California. Since accessing online casinos across state lines is prohibited, Dao agreed to forfeit the balances of his New Jersey accounts.

Most of those funds resided with Borgata Casino Online. As part of the settlement, Borgata must return $2,000 to Dao and forfeit the remaining $79,539.24.

Caesars agreed to similar terms, although Dao had less money on the WSOP NJ site. Altogether, Dao lost over $92,000 in the settlement.

Needless to say, he also now enjoys prohibited status in the DGE’s books.

Breaking the gambling rules

While these two incidents are somewhat larger than normal, the Atlantic City-based Borgata is not alone in its breaking of DGE rules.

The DGE has well-documented its intent to keep online gambling in New Jersey as safe and secure as possible.

As such, incidents like these have happened before.

Here are three examples from the same week:

  • Hard Rock fined $1,000 for failing to detect that an underage patron had entered the premises.
  • GiG fined $2,000 because the company didn’t get social security numbers of registering players.
  • SG Digital fined $1,000 for not recognizing a person on the self-exclusion list.

Casino operators are big companies with lots of moving parts, and perfect compliance is often a high hurdle.

The DGE, as the regulatory arm of casino gambling in the state, keeps a close eye on all the operators.

For the above sites, these kinds of situations are more like speeding tickets. Unfortunately for Borgata, it seems they were exceeding the limit by quite a bit when the DGE pulled them over.

Coming This Summer To Atlantic City: An $11 Million Borgata Sportsbook

Borgata Atlantic City announced that it started construction on its $11 million permanent sportsbook complete with an “entertaining bar experience.”

The rumors from the last few months or so are true: Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City is building a permanent sportsbook.

The official construction announcement of the new Borgata Sportsbook is hot off the press release.

Parent company MGM International doesn’t seem to be sparing any expense either. We’re talking “an entertaining bar experience with sports wagering.” Numbers wise, it will add more than $11 million in development to the property.

Think summer 2019. Yes, prime season at the Jersey Shore if not NJ sports betting.

A new sportsbook at Borgata Atlantic City

Borgata generated its share of sports betting buzz back in June by becoming the first Atlantic City Casino to accept a legal sports wager.

The first actual bet was made at Monmouth Park by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. NBA Hall-of-Famer Julius Erving placed the first bet at the temporary Borgata space on June 14.

It came three days after the state’s sports betting bill was signed.

A word from Marcus Glover, president and COO for Borgata:

“Since Borgata arrived in the Atlantic City market more than 15 years ago, we have maintained a steadfast dedication to property growth and development, with our new concept exemplifying this objective. We are proud to have been at the forefront of legalized sports betting in New Jersey and look forward to advancing our product with an innovative gaming and entertainment experience for our guests to enjoy.”

Borgata transformed a space dedicated to the horse racing into the Borgata Race & Sports Book. 

Borgata + NJ sports betting

The current temporary space features:

  • 10 betting windows
  • 100 seats with individual flat-screen monitors
  • Video wall with screens to view live sporting events
  • An in-venue bar offering a variety of cold beers and cocktails

Specifics on the new space have yet to be announced, but one can imagine with $11 million in play that it will be something expansive.

MGM, for its part, has more than one skin in the New Jersey sports betting game.

On Aug. 22, Borgata launched the playMGM NJ mobile sports betting app. It offers a full range of US and international sports and betting options.

MGM knows sports betting

Parent company MGM International brought a wealth of sports betting experience to the Garden State. We’re talking 25-plus years of sports wagering in Nevada.

According to the Borgata press release, the company’s resorts combine to write more than four million sports wagers each year with annual handle that exceeds $1 billion.

With sports betting becoming big-time business across the country, MGM isn’t resting on its laurels.

In the last months of 2018, MGM established strategic relationships with professional sports teams and leagues. Deals are in place with the NBA, WNBANHL, MLB and the New York Jets.

MGM Leverages Borgata Presence To Enter The PA Online Gaming Market

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) confirmed receipt of MGM’s $12 million payment required to apply for a complete PA interactive gaming license. 

MGM Resorts International hopes its New Jersey online gaming presence will earn the company a spot in the Pennsylvania online gambling market.

According to Online Poker Report, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) confirmed receipt of MGM’s $12 million payment required to apply for a complete PA interactive gaming license.

The complete gaming license includes three parts:

  • Non-peer-to-peer simulating slot machines
  • Peer-to-peer simulating poker
  • Non-peer-to-peer simulating banked table games

Each license costs $4 million and can be bought individually or as a package. It seems MGM wants it all.

Opening the door to PA online gaming

The first round of license applications was exclusively open to the 13 PA casino license holders. There were 39 licenses available, 13 of each kind.

Casinos were not required to apply, and if they did apply, they did not have to apply for all of them.

When the application window closed, seven licenses remained. Three more were added to the mix when Rivers Casino relinquished the rights to its licenses.

That makes 10 licenses available to Qualified Gaming Entities (QGE). MGM, as the owner of nearby Borgata and other casinos across the country, meets the requirements of a QGE. And it has its sights on three of the 10 available licenses.

The application window for QGEs closes on Oct. 31. The PGCB will randomly award the remaining ten permits sometime in the near future. There is no indication as to the date of the drawing.

Additionally, there is no confirmation on how many QGEs applied. MGM has done what it can at this point.

Interestingly enough, it is a little ironic that a casino is waiting for the outcome of a draw to see if it hit the jackpot.

MGM leveraging its brand

MGM has been busy growing its online casino and sports betting footprint. Gaining access to the Pennsylvania market has been on MGM’s agenda for a while now.

More than likely, part of its motivation is that a sports betting license is only available to those with a casino license.

The gaming company also seems to be doubling-down on major sports league partnerships. Earlier this week, the company signed its second sponsorship agreement with a major sports league.

As a result, MGM is now the “official resort destination” of the NHL. This news came around the same time as the New Jersey Devils signed two sponsorship deals of its own.

With properties up and down the eastern seaboard, and a slice of NJ sports betting to boot, it makes sense that MGM wants into the Pennsylvania market.

One of the reasons could simply be to retain its customer base that currently makes the trek from PA to NJ to play some slots or place a sports bet.

A focus on sports betting in New Jersey and beyond

It’s no wonder there is a focus on sports betting. Let’s face it: It is the shiny new object in the online gaming space. Borgata has been a dominant presence among  Atlantic City casinos.

In September, the NJ sportsbook brought in a sports betting revenue total of $2.5 million. Not too shabby for a nascent NJ sports betting market.

Pennsylvania’s population is 25 percent larger than that of NJ. As such, it stands to reason that its online gaming and sportsbook earning potential will be higher.

It certainly explains MGM’s recent partnership agreement with Boyd Gaming, the previously mentioned sponsorships with two sports leagues, and the rumors about MGM being the ideal suitor if Stadium Casino is indeed for sale.

Of course, the most direct way into the PA gaming market is with those interactive gaming licenses. At this point, it is a wait and see for the casino giant.

G2E Says Borgata Casino Is The Property Of The Year

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa won the Property of the Year award at the 2018 Global Gambing Awards, beating out nine other casino-hotels.

“World’s best” has a nice ring to it.

Earlier this month, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa earned the “Property of the Year” award at the Global Gaming Expo, further solidifying the casino’s standing as the flagship property of Atlantic City.

The casino wrote about the award in a blog post:

“This honor caps an already historic year for us at Borgata. Celebrating its 15th year of operations, the unparalleled East Coast resort destination continues to raise the bar in Atlantic City years after its momentous debut, offering guests an electrifying summer season of the biggest names in entertainment, exclusive culinary experiences, and unique casino promotions and special events.”

According to the release, Borgata was one of 10 finalists. All of them endured the scrutiny of 60 judges made up of, for the most part, industry executives.

Borgata beat out casinos from U.S., Argentina, Macau

According to the Global Gaming Awards website, the Property of the Year award is reserved for those properties that exhibit a commitment to go beyond the ordinary to provide a powerful customer experience.

“The land-based casino industry would not exist without singular properties which deliver customer experiences that keep patrons coming back time after time,” the award’s page states.

The nine other casinos who made the finals with Borgata were:

  • Casino de Tigre (Argentina)
  • Eldorado Reno Resort Casino
  • Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • Mohegan Sun Casino
  • Mount Airy Casino Resort
  • Palms Casino Resort
  • Studio City, Macau
  • Viejas Casino and Resort
  • The Cromwell Las Vegas

Borgata continues to lead A.C. casino market

Borgata’s standing as Atlantic City’s flagship casino is one that the property has earned both through the luxuries afforded through its property as well as the revenue it generates on its casino floor.

For example, this past September, the casino has more than $70 million in gaming win. Of that, roughly 67 percent came from its 3,475 slot machines. The casino’s more than 250 table games earned it nearly $21 million.

The next closest casino in terms of gaming win was Tropicana. It pulled in about $32.1 million, which is less than half of what Borgata earned.

As far as accommodations go, Borgata has 2,000 rooms, 400 of which are varying levels of suites. The hotel’s decor is upscale and chic. At the time of publishing, a weekend night at Borgata cost $209.

The hotel’s booming casino floor and chic accommodations are, no doubt, major factors in the property’s win.

Borgata President and COO Marcus Glover said in a statement that it was the hard work of his team that brought the property to the level at which it needed to be to win the award.

“This award is welcome validation of the hard work contributed by every member of our Borgata team as we celebrate 15 years of leadership and innovation in Atlantic City. Since entering the market in 2003, Borgata has made it our mission to grow and invest in not only our property and product, but in our team members and guests; offering an unrivaled experience to anyone who walks through our doors.”

Atlantic City’s Busy Summer Gets Busier With Borgata’s 15th Anniversary Celebration

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will mark its 15th anniversary with a summer-long party, adding to Atlantic City’s already packed summer with Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino opening in June.

Atlantic City’s flagship casino is getting ready to party.

Beginning in June, Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa will host a series of concerts, culinary events, casino promotions, and special events to commemorate its opening 15 years ago. The celebration will kick off at around the same time AC hits the ground running on one of its busiest summers ever.

Borgata President and COO Marcus Glover said in a press release that the summerlong celebration reflects the best of what the casino is about:

“As Borgata celebrates 15 years as both leaders and innovators in the Atlantic City market, we are excited to present an entire summer of programming that truly encapsulates what makes Borgata the preeminent travel destination on the East Coast.”

Borgata’s big party plans

Borgata is focusing its summer anniversary celebration on music, food, and casino promotions. Here are just a few of the highlights:

Music and comedy

Some of the headlining acts include Ringo Starr, Barry Manilow, Camila Cabello, and Britney Spears.

The casino will also welcome comedians including Dave Chappelle and Sebastian Maniscalco. At the time of publishing, Maniscalco’s show was sold out, save for premium VIP packages starting at $250. Chappelle’s show still had tickets available starting at $129.

Other acts include:

  • Michael Che
  • Kings of Leon
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Ken Je0ng
  • 3 Doors Down & Collective Soul

Food

A quartet of culinary events leads the way in the series of foodie galas that are a part of Borgata’s celebration.

Executive Chef Romeo DiBona will prepare a multi-course dinner for the Old Homestead 15th Birthday Dinner, which is an homage to the casino’s Old Homestead restaurant.

Celebrity chef Michael Symon will headline “an outdoor Birthday Bash complete with festival games and activities” plus a few other festivities.

Izakaya Sake Bar will mark its 10th birthday on Aug. 3 during the summer bash.

The last of the headlining food acts will be a sunset party with Wolfgang Puck that will take place Aug. 11.

Casino promos

The final category of events that will take place during Borgata’s 15th-anniversary celebration is casino promos, four of which are listed below:

  • 15x Slot Dollars
  • $15,000 slot winners every 15 minutes
  • Sweepstakes for a 15 karat ring
  • $15,000 high hand poker games
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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

Borgata celebration part of landmark Atlantic City summer

Borgata’s 15th anniversary is just one part of what is arguably Atlantic City’s most important summer in decades.

Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino are opening June 28, a fact that will presumably draw thousands of people to Atlantic City and provide the city a seminal moment in its rebirth.

Each new property represents its own redemption narrative. The Hard Rock exorcised the remaining labor demons that shuttered the Trump Taj Mahal, while Ocean Resort Casino hopes to clear the closet skeletons left by oft-contemptuous developer Glenn Straub.

In addition to this dual opening, Resorts Casino Hotel will celebrate its 40th anniversary starting Memorial Day weekend. Hard Rock’s grand opening entertainment lineup combined with Resorts’ and Borgata’s anniversaries puts Atlantic City on the map as a concert hotspot.

So is there too much going on in Atlantic City? Perhaps. But for a city that has had its share of rough times, the multiple celebrations are a welcome change of pace.

You won’t be bored in AC this year.

Two Years After Golden Nugget Launch, Live Dealer Games Make The Leap To Borgata

Live dealer games launched at Golden Nugget and Betfair NJ online casinos in August 2016, but now Borgata, playMGM, and PartyCasino NJ gambling sites are adding live dealer games to their game collections.

The live dealer gaming industry is still in its infancy, perhaps moving into toddlerhood.

Live dealer games were introduced at Golden Nugget NJ online casino in August 2016. Since then, Golden Nugget has been the undisputed leader in live dealer gaming.

In March 2018, the casino raked in $8.7 million in gross gaming revenue. Some would credit live dealer games for the NJ gambling site’s success. In second place was Borgata, which generated $4.6 million the same month.

Now, however, Golden Nugget’s closest competitor could be making a move in the market that Golden Nugget, in a sense, created.

Golden Nugget builds a foundation

Until recently, only two online casinos had offered live dealer games — Golden Nugget and its partner Betfair. Both NJ gambling sites broadcast games live from Golden Nugget’s land-based casino in Atlantic City.

A gaming option for nearly two years, live dealer games — which include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and casino poker — combine the convenience afforded by online gambling with the social aspect of roaming a casino floor. There are real dealers using real playing cards and real roulette wheels being spun.

Then, just last month, Golden Nugget launched a new version of live dealer roulette: Live Casino Floor Roulette.

In each month’s gambling revenue figures released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), Golden Nugget is seemingly always at the top of the list. A key factor in the casino’s success may very well be live dealer games.

“Out of our top 10 games in wagering, four are live dealer games,” said Thomas Winter, a higher-up charged with supervising Golden Nugget’s online gaming, in January.

He noted that GN’s live dealer games have increased the casino’s online table game revenue by 150 percent since its launch in 2016.

“We believe Live Dealer has the potential to become bigger than online poker in revenues in the US.”

The online casinos under the Golden Nugget license account for about one-third of all revenue in New Jersey. And Golden Nugget has continued to expand its gaming selection, as it now boasts the biggest library of games in New Jersey.

Now, though, Golden Nugget will get its first taste of live dealer game competition.

In comes Borgata’s live dealer games

Borgata recently soft-launched live dealer games at its online casino Borgata Casino online as well as it’s affiliated NJ gambling sites, playMGM and PartyCasino NJ.

All three NJ online casinos will offer these four live dealer games:

  • American Blackjack Live
  • Casino Hold’em Live
  • American Roulette Live
  • Baccarat Dragon Bonus Live

Games on the Borgata, playMGM, and PartyCasino sites will run from 2 p.m. to 3 a.m. Monday through Wednesday and noon to 3 a.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Golden Nugget does not appear overly concerned with the competition; the AC casino is reportedly renting out its live dealer game studio to Borgata. And why should it be worried? The casino still rules in revenue.

Certainly, Borgata recognizes the value of live dealer games. In March, Golden Nugget earned double the revenue of its nearest competitor, Borgata, which has solidified itself as the runner-up for some time. Caesars, however, closed the game and reached within $100,000 of Borgata.

Of course, the road is long for Borgata — or any casino, for that matter — to catch Golden Nugget. But Borgata’s latest addition will no doubt help the casino pull away from Caesars and perhaps inch closer to the NJ online gambling leader.

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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

More competition entering the market?

For nearly two years Golden Nugget has monopolized live dealer gaming. Why? Building and running a live dealer studio deals quite the hit to a casino’s budget. Now, that sector of the industry could be on the rise in terms of venues offering live dealer games.

For one, it is difficult to ignore the success Golden Nugget has enjoyed in that market. What’s more, with last fall’s legalization of online gambling in Pennsylvania, the cost of running live dealer games could be offset by a potential presence in two markets out of a single studio.

In Atlantic City alone, existing casinos are seeking out ways in which to establish a solid customer base as the summer nears. After all, within the next few months, two highly publicized casinos — Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino — are scheduled to open.

Both properties are expected to offer online gambling, and with each already looking to hit the ground running, it is possible that each casino might turn to live dealer games to make names for themselves out of the gate.

Borgata certainly has high hopes for its live dealer launch.