The larger than life billionaire personality Donald Trump is taking a serious look and getting into the emerging online gambling market now that the US is taking a more open approach to the industry. It should come at no surprise ever since “state-by-state” the US is now opening up its market and legalizing what has been a long time in coming. Trump has been famous for getting into advertising and marketing angles that he can leverage his brand name and make money on it. It’s no secret that his casino operations in New Jersey need some new blood or cash flow and this would be a perfect medicine for the ailing casinos.
He’s has been known to jump on the bandwagon with new industries such as the reality TV show “The Apprentice”. He was also smart enough the keep the online gambling rights to his name even after he lost control of his casinos; “Given the way online gaming is rolling out on a state-by-state basis, we really want to keep our options open,” daughter Ivanka Trump said in an interview who just so happens to also be an executive with the New York-based Trump Organization Inc.
The agreement signed last year gives him 100% control of his name and online gambling destiny so he can do what ever he wants, which means he surely can partner with a large online or land based company at his will. Now looks like the first the first company to come out of the woodwork and strike a lucrative deal with Mr. Trump. That company is Ultimate Gaming, the first online poker room with a gaming license in Nevada.
The agreement is actually with Donald Trump's Taj Mahal Associates LLC. Ultimate Gaming has their proprietary poker software platform and this is also a major step in getting into New Jersey as that state requires online companies to have working relationships with local land based casinos. "We feel our technology is a major advantage," said Tobin Prior, Chief Executive Officer of Ultimate Gaming. "Our proprietary software has been proven to meet regulatory requirements and allows for continuous investment and product development.
The technology was acquired in 2011 and developed by a U.S. based company with a completely clean regulatory profile." This is a major step in the state’s online gaming market and probably the first major personality to be used on an online gaming site started and marketed in the US.
Major mainstream brands are commonplace in the online gaming market with such companies as Microgaming licensing and branding slots such as Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Battle Star Galactica and Lord of the Rings slots. Many other companies have been doing this for years, but only in regulated markets. Have the Trump name and face on a legal online gaming right in his major market will be first for the industry. This is surely just the beginning of the branding heavy weight names and celebrities in the online gaming space. Bally’s gaming products with celebrity brand names are extremely commonplace in the land based casinos, especially in Vegas.
This was strategically a smart move for the Trump organization and they seem to have made a decision quickly to go with an already existing turnkey solution provider that can have them up and going, “Ultimate Gaming is a pioneer in the online gaming space and can provide a turnkey solution for our online gaming needs in New Jersey,” said Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Robert F. Griffin. “We are delighted to be working with a trusted partner that has a proven track record.” The software already has passed the Nevada Gaming Commission acid test and it will surely pass the New Jersey test too. This is a simple “direct to market” approach for the Trump organization and to get the foothold in the New Jersey marketplace, which happens to be a lot bigger than the Nevada market by far.
It will be interesting to see who becomes the next celebrity to partner with an online gaming brand. It was many years ago when the likes of Donald Brunson and Pamela Anderson started gambling sites only to take them down way back in 2006 when the UIGEA passed. Now it will be just a matter of time before some big name celebrity or sports personality decides that they too could see themselves on a gambling site and it fits with their brand.
It still might take a few more states to open up before some of the other big names decide it’s time to get in the market. One thing is for sure Mr. Trump isn’t going to wait and is now moving forward with his online gambling properties. This is surely just the beginning and you can now place your prop bets on who will be next.