GVC given thumbs up for New Jersey

By David Cook
GVC Holdings, owner of BwinParty, has been granted licence approval by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to operate in the state.

While Bwin does not conduct business in the US, PartyGaming has been active in New Jersey since the regulated market launched in 2013.

GVC was allowed to continue operating NJPartyPoker.com while its licence application was under review, after completing a deal to purchase BwinParty for 25p in cash plus 0.231 new GVC shares per BwinParty share.

It has now been decided that GVC does not need to be granted a transactional waiver to continue its New Jersey operations.

A point of interest now is whether GVC CEO Kenny Alexander performs a u-turn of sorts on the online gaming group’s future US plans, where it is clear he is not prepared to be overly patient.

In an interview with Gambling Insider, Alexander said: “The idea would be to take some cost out of the business and run it to break even. One of the issues BwinParty has had is that it’s tied itself in knots and relied a lot on the US business opening up, and obviously it hasn’t really opened up in the way they had hoped. That has damaged their business. The US is not a big part of our overall strategy.

“If we don’t get a New Jersey licence or if we think the US business is going to continue to lose money, no matter what, then we would take us out of the US.”

GVC has only been running the PartyPoker brand in New Jersey for four months, so could still be making up its mind on whether keeping PartyPoker in the US is a valuable prospect.

What the DGE’s decision quashes though, is the idea that GVC’s operations in grey markets, such as Brazil, Germany and Turkey, could hold back its efforts to progress on this front.

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