With one casino closed and another mired in bankruptcy Trump Entertainment Resorts has had a tough year in New Jersey. Trump Entertainment’s failings have also trickled down to the iGaming companies that hitched their wagons to the two TER owned casinos in Atlantic City, Betfair and Ultimate Gaming.
With Trump Plaza already shuttered, and The Taj headed for the proverbial scrap heap (scheduled to close sometime around December 20th), the creditors are queuing up in bankruptcy court, including Betfair and Ultimate Gaming who were named in a court filing by TER this past week.
The Associated Press reported Trump Entertainment filed court documents in an effort to, in part, settle its debts with its former iGaming partners, and free up some capital as it searches for a way to keep the doors to the Trump Taj Mahal open.
Trump Entertainment’s debts
When Trump Entertainment filed for bankruptcy in November, threatening to close to The Taj unless creditors, labor unions and Atlantic City made significant concessions, it did so owing Ultimate Gaming several months of iGaming payments, totaling $1.5 million according to a statement issued on September 19th by Ultimate Gaming:
“Ultimate Gaming announced today that it has terminated its online gaming agreement with Trump Taj Mahal Associates LLC, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The agreement was terminated due to multiple breaches by Trump Taj Mahal Associates. As a result of the termination, Ultimate Gaming will be withdrawing from the New Jersey online gaming market.”
In addition to Ultimate Gaming calling out and blaming Trump Taj Mahal for their New Jersey exit (a questionable reason considering the site’s subsequent departure from the Nevada market), Trump Plaza, which shuttered its doors back in September also left their iGaming partner hanging out to dry.
Back in September Betfair petitioned the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for some $700,000 of funds owed them by Trump Plaza. Unlike Ultimate Gaming, Betfair went looking for a new dance partner in New Jersey, eventually hooking up with Golden Nugget following what amounted to a one night stand with Caesars.
It should be noted that despite the debts owed by Trump Taj Mahal, Ultimate Gaming promptly refunded account balances following their announced closure. Betfair has continued to operate in New Jersey uninterrupted.
The court filings, signed by Trump Entertainment’s largest debt holder Carl Ichan, states it will free up $1.4 million (this was just one part of debt restructuring in the filing) which it will use to pay other debts and remain operational while it tries to find alternative ways to keep its doors open.
The totality of the filing seems to have bought Trump Entertainment some time to reach an agreement with the city and state, as Trump Taj Mahal’s closure date has been pushed back from December 12th to the 20th.
According to the AP article, Betfair continues to hold a $700,000 unsecured claim, but did receive an important concession from Trump Entertainment, as the filing states that Betfair owns its customer data and can also use data it owned in conjunction with Trump Plaza.
It’s unclear what the no longer operational Ultimate Gaming would receive from the settlement, or what financial obligations to Ultimate Gaming would remain on the books.