Proposed Data Center in Atlantic City Could Spark Esports Development
Atlantic City could see a major increase in its ability to host online services—including eSports contests—under a deal being worked out between Continent 8 network solutions and the state Casino Reinvestment Development Authority.
The Press of Atlantic City reported that negotiations are underway for Continent 8 to build a $5 million, 6,000-square-foot data center in underutilized space at the city’s convention center.
The data center would serve to increase bandwidth capacity and security for web-based services throughout the city and region. The center could also spur efforts by city casinos and other entities to hold eSports contests in the resort.
“Atlantic City has the capacity to be able to bring in and really go after that specific business segment,” Kevin Ortzman, regional president for Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s Atlantic City properties and a CRDA board member told the paper.
ESports is anticipated to generate nearly $906 million in revenue worldwide in 2018 and is expected to grow to $1.65 billion by 2021.
Atlantic City has held successful eSports events in the city. Caesars Atlantic City hosted the city’s first esports event, Gears of War Pro Circuit, in 2017, and Harrah’s Resort held the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League event in May, the paper said. Both properties are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
“This is an area that Caesars is really focused on as we try to create new, appealing, innovative gaming, particularly for the millennials,” Ortzman said.
Continent 8 already has a presence in the city, running data centers at Caesars Atlantic City and recently opening a second at the Ocean Resort casino, which opened last month. The company has a $2 million investment in the city and is the only independent provider to receive a Casino Service Industry Enterprise license from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, company officials said.
The recently opened Ocean Resort Casino data center will provide connectivity to Pennsylvania and Nevada locations, and has a direct link to Continent 8’s global network of more than 30 data centers.
“Continent 8 saw a real opportunity in Atlantic City,” Barbara DeMarco, a spokeswoman for the company told the Press. “The data center in the convention center offers space to grow and, eventually, serve the greater South Jersey region by expanding network capabilities and security.”
Terms for the deal were approved by the authority in June and it should be finalized this month. The lease would be for 10 years with two five-year extensions at approximately $101,000 per year.