Philadelphia Casino

Casino developer Steve Wynn addresses Pennsylvania state gambling regulators at the Keystone Building in Harrisburg, Pa., Wednesday, March 3, 2010. Wynn went before Pennsylvania state gambling regulators in another step toward his takeover of a long-stalled Philadelphia casino project. Wynn's appearance Wednesday was his first before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The gaming board ultimately must approve the transaction. (AP Photo/Jason Minick)

Jason Minick

ATLANTIC CITY — Gambling mogul Steve Wynn has run the gamut of approaches in Atlantic City, getting his start in the seaside resort and later labeling it as “the enemy” last year in front of Pennsylvania regulators. Now, he wants back in.

Wynn Interactive LLC appears to be approaching ever closer to tapping into New Jersey’s online gambling market. Wynn is part of an application to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement for a waiver needed to begin Internet gambling operations.

The application filed Jan. 10 is a joint application with AAPN, also known as the All American Poker Network, and Caesars Interactive Entertainment, which holds the online gambling permits for Atlantic City’s Bally’s and Caesars casinos. The application follows a partnership announcement last September that competitors, Caesars and Wynn, had plans to work together.

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Seth Palansky, a spokesman for Caesars Interactive, said the existing plan calls for Caesars to host Wynn’s servers in Atlantic City. Caesars Interactive is already working with AAPN, the parent company of 888 Holdings, a Gibraltar-based firm offering high-profile web betting in Europe.

“It’s known that we’re giving Wynn Interactive the ability to use our license in New Jersey,” Palansky said. “Obviously, we don’t own our own software, and it gives them the ability to open in New Jersey.”

Asked how long it might be before Wynn launches a website, Palansky said he had “no idea” of the timeline.

Wynn spokeswoman Deanna Pettit-Irestone did not respond to email or phone calls Wednesday.

Additional information from the Division of Gaming Enforcement was not immediately available Wednesday as state offices were closed due to snow.

Wynn’s company Wynn Resorts oversees his share of the industry on the Las Vegas Strip and in the gambling hub of Macau, but he was long tied to Atlantic City. He helped to develop the now shuttered Atlantic Club Casino Hotel that opened in 1980 as the Golden Nugget.

Until late last year, Wynn was also competing for a license to build Philadelphia’s second casino. He abandoned his plans in November, citing increased competition in the region resulting from New York’s successful casino referendum. A month later, Wynn posted an advertisement calling for a Philadelphia-based director of online gaming products, spurring speculation that the position could be related to New Jersey Internet gambling.

Wynn has disappointed Atlantic City in the past. In the 1990s he had plans to develop a casino in the Marina District, but that project fizzled. In 2007, he also considered building “Wynn Atlantic City,” at the resort’s former municipal airport, Bader Field. That plan died when the city’s plans to sell the site did not materialize.

The application filed this month is not the first sign of Wynn’s interest in New Jersey’s online gambling market. In August, Wynn Interactive applied for a casino service license. The Division of Gaming Enforcement has also granted a request to seal the company’s organizational structure. That request also extends to parent company Wynn Resorts, according to state documents.

Contact Jennifer Bogdan:


@ACPressJennifer on Twitter

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