Eldorado Takes Control, Then Cuts Online Casino Staff At Tropicana Atlantic City

Just one day after officially taking control of Tropicana in Atlantic City, Eldorado Resorts fired the online casino staff.

In reporting at Online Poker Report, sources in the know, but not employees of the casino, “believe it’s a vote of no interest and/or confidence in online gambling by the Trop’s new owner.”

Tropicana’s NJ online casino still open for business

It’s hard to imagine “no interest” in a gaming vertical that brings in more than $3 million per month. That’s how much the Tropicana online casino contributes to Tropicana’s overall bottom line.

Gamesys powers the online casino and likely has the ability to keep things running while Eldorado sorts out its long-term plans.

Of course, such a bold move so soon after its acquisition of the property may affect its customers’ confidence. Rest assured, the NJ gambling site remains operational, at least for now.

As Eldorado assumes operational control, there are likely to be more changes at Tropicana AC. While the recent news came as a surprise, there is an expectation that Eldorado will make some changes to integrate the Atlantic City property into the Eldorado family.

What is Eldorado really after?

Upon the completion of the sale earlier this week, Gary Carano, chairman and chief executive officer of Eldorado, talked about gaming operations and NJ sports betting.

“Through this combination, we have significantly expanded the scale of our gaming operations, further diversified our geographic reach into new markets — some of which have already adopted sports wagering legislation — and minimized market-specific risk.”

Before purchasing the Tropicana properties, Eldorado bought Lady Luck Nemacolin in Pennsylvania.

The NJ online gaming and sports betting markets are in full swing, and Pennsylvania is close to launching online gaming and mobile sports betting, too.

It was thought the latest purchases were a strategic move by the company to gain access to two sought-after online casino markets. That might not be the case though.

The latest news paired with the fact that Lady Luck has not applied for an online gaming license in PA puts that strategy in question.

We do know through recent statements, including the one above, that Eldorado has an interest in gaming and sports betting. It is the future NJ online gambling plans that have people wondering.

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Will Tropicana open a sportsbook?

All signs are pointing to a new sportsbook opening at Tropicana soon.

Eldorado and Tropicana both have deals in place with William Hill (Caesars NJ). William Hill operates several other sportsbooks in New Jersey, including its own mobile sports betting app.

Steve Callender, Tropicana’s general manager, shared plans for a new sports betting venue earlier in September:

“A brand new venue is being created to host sports betting in the North Tower Casino, with kiosks located throughout the property. We are excited to share more details about Tropicana Atlantic City’s sports book in the coming weeks.”

Additionally, Tom Reeg, president and chief financial officer of Eldorado, talked about the company’s willingness and need to fight for market share.

“We’re coming in eyes wide open that we’re going to have to fight for our position in this market. We expect a fight for market share and we’re prepared to get involved. We’re buying an asset that we hope is standing and competing 50, 100 years from now.”

But while there has been talk of a retail sportsbook location, there has been no mention of an online or mobile sports betting option.

While most companies are rushing to take part in the booming NJ online sports betting market, Eldorado seems content to sit on the sidelines — at least for now.

Of course, nothing is a certainty when change is afoot. That is especially true after the recent firings.

About the Author

Kim Yuhl

Kim Yuhl has been covering the US online gambling market since 2013. Her work is featured on various sites and covers sports betting, online casino gambling, and online poker. Kim is a full-time traveler and vlogger and is currently slow traveling to 60 countries. You can follow her travels at kimandway.com and on YouTube at kimandway.