Caesars Gets Social, Trump Taj Mahal Goes Online, PokerStars Fails - Poker Junkie
While the 2013 World Series of Poker has dominated the news wires over the last few weeks, this week has brought about major headlines in other areas of the industry.
With a solid hold on the brick-and-mortar market Caesars is also now the top dog in social media gaming while Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal has signed with an online poker provider.
Industry flagship stalwart PokerStars, meanwhile, seems to have gotten the shaft in its deal with the Atlantic Club.
Caesars Overtakes Zynga as Top Dog in Social Gaming
Zynga is the company that perfected the social gaming model and has made billions off games like Zynga Poker, Farmville and others. In recent months, however, Caesars Interactive Entertainment has overtaken the social media giant in terms of market share and profits.
Per a report by Eilers Research, CIE now leads with a 18.6 share of the market while Zynga holds 15 percent. It also outperformed Zynga in terms of revenue for the 2nd quarter of 2013 with CIE pulling in $57 million versus $49.5m for Zynga.
CIE also outperformed Zynga on Facebook with $40 million compared to $37 million for Zynga.
CIE's model has been to create popular games and buy out successful social media companies. In the past couple of years it has acquired both Buffalo Studios and Platika to bolster its gaming offerings.
Bingo Blitz and Slotmania are among the top games currently offered by CIE. Other games include the World Series of Poker social gaming app.
Ultimate Poker Signs Deal with Trump Taj Mahal
On April 30th of this year Ultimate Poker became the first fully legal online poker site in the United States. Now the company has signed a deal with Atlantic City's Trump Taj Mahal to offer online poker for New Jersey residents.
New Jersey is one of only three states in the United States to legalize online poker but only Nevada has games running. Per the New Jersey bill all online sites in New Jersey must go live on the same date. That date at present is expected to be November 26, 2013.
What impact online poker will have on Atlantic City remains to be seen. At presen, Ultimate Poker only draws between 200 and 400 players per day to its site.
The good news is that all 12 casinos in the AC area have applied to offer online poker with seven already signing partners for their online endeavors. Bwin, 888 and Bally Technologies are among the other companies that will offer online poker services in Atlantic City.
PokerStars Fails in Appeal to Reinstate Atlantic Club Deal
PokerStars made a huge gamble in attempting to buy the Atlantic Club Casino earlier this year. After investing over $11 million in the company it was ultimately unable to receive approval from the NJ Gaming Commission prior to the first key deadline in its contract.
The Atlantic Club subsequently tried to back out of the deal. PokerStars in turn tried to file a lawsuit to get the deal reinstated but the State Superior Court struck the lawsuit down.
Now the New Jersey Appellate Court has denied PokerStars' appeal, effectively bringing an end to its attempt to enter the New Jersey market -- at least for now.
PokerStars has already paid out the $11 million in advance payments to keep the Atlantic Club operational through April of this year. Those payments were to go towards the $15 million purchase price and the rejection of this appeal will result in a complete loss of those funds.