Feb. 20, 2015 UPDATE: Apparently, the Resorts Online launch has been put on hold. A countdown message disappeared from the site, and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has removed the site from its officially sanctioned list as well.
No reasons for the delay have been given. We will continue to follow the story.
Atlantic City’s first live casino, Resorts, is set to become the city’s newest online gaming platform later this month.
Following a preliminary licensing hearing with New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the casino, which is backed by SNG Interactive (comprised of Sportech and the NYX Gaming Group), has been given the green light to go live this month.
Despite being a relative latecomer to New Jersey’s igaming scene, Resorts believes its team of experts will help give it an edge in the market. In fact, the relationship with Sportech, which is a UK-based company specializing in horseracing and pools betting, will give what Resorts has described as the “largest selection of casino slots and tables games in the State of New Jersey.”
As part of the DGE’s licensing process, ResortsCasino.com is required to conduct a soft-launch during which players will be able to experience the site’s full range of products. If this test period is completed successfully, Resorts will be free to open up its platform for all Garden State residents before the end of February.
At present, the coalition between partypoker and the Borgata has proved to be New Jersey’s most successful. Last month the network raked in $3.8 million, but Sportech’s CEO, Ian Penrose, believes Resorts has a brand advantage over its rivals. In an interview with eGR last month he highlighted that players often feel more comfortable placing wagers with companies they know and trust.
“In the early days of any new marketplace, brands have an advantage. It has everything to do with trust, and players wanting to wager with the brands they know and are familiar with,” said Penrose.
Not only that, but Mark Giannantonio, Resorts CEO, explained that his virtual venture will draw inspiration and experience from the European igaming market.
“With SNG’s flexible gaming solutions and exclusive game content, we’re excited to introduce Europe’s industry-leading casino slots and table games to the United States market for the best online user experience,” Giannantonio told the press.
Although Giannantonio hasn’t given any indication as to when the site will offer poker provisions, it’s expected Resorts will be working to add a selection of games in the latter half of 2015.
In fact, the casino has already agreed to a software deal with PokerStars and once the company is given permission to operate in New Jersey, it’s likely a move to include games of poker will swiftly follow.
Throughout 2014 the New Jersey igaming scene has experienced a number of ups and downs. However, Penrose believes that the market is still finding its feet and has a huge amount of potential due to its “large population.”
Although 2014’s overall financial return was way below the $1 billion Governor Chris Christie boldly predicted when he legalized igaming in the State, a recent upswing has given industry operators a reason to be optimistic.
January saw New Jersey’s online poker and casino sites generate $11,567,337 which is $2,100,000 more than he collective of operators generated during January 2014. Whether or not the Garden State can sustain another online platform remains to be seen.