- 1 Anticipated launches
- 2 Latest NJ online casino launches
- 3 Background on the NJ online casino market
- 4 New Jersey’s iGaming future
MGM online casino and poker room – 2017
MGM plans to launch an online casino and poker site in New Jersey before the end of 2017 under the playMGM brand. Read more about MGM’s NJ online casino here.
Pala online poker room – 2017
Pala is expected to add a poker room to its existing online casino in the second half of 2017.
Hard Rock online casino and poker room – TBD
Hard Rock has yet to formally announce plans for a legal online casino in New Jersey. But most believe that after buying the Taj Mahal, Hard Rock will follow the other major casinos in NJ online. Read more about Hard Rock’s online casino plans.
Latest NJ online casino launches
SugarHouse online casino – September 2016
With Pennsylvania lawmakers spinning their wheels on iGaming legislation, one Pennsylvania-based casino simply went ahead and launched an online casino site – In New Jersey.
The SugarHouse New Jersey Online Casino PlaySugarHouse.com launched in September 2016 with more than 200 games and a number of unique features through a partnership with SugarHouse Philadelphia casino operators Rush Street Interactive and New Jersey online gambling licensee Golden Nugget.
In addition to a traditional desktop website interface, PlaySugarHouse.com launched mobile apps for Apple and Android users. The New Jersey online casino operation also offered leaderboards, free bingo games for bonuses and real-time player-to-player chat from launch in an effort to make the experience a more engaging and personal one.
In an effort to grab market share, the SugarHouse New Jersey Online Casino also offered a number of easy to clear bonuses and promotions.
The addition of SugarHouse has helped Golden Nugget become the gross revenue leaders in New Jersey’s iGaming market.
PokerStars online casino and poker room – March 2016
The world’s most popular online poker site relaunched as an online poker and casino site in the New Jersey market in March 2016. PokerStars NJ began by offering New Jersey players local versions of the the brand’s most popular games, formats and products. It also came with the promise of special New Jersey online promotions, bonuses, and local live events.
Right out of the gate, PokerStars NJ offered Special Sunday tournaments alongside casino games like Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, and Slots. There was a mobile app and a desktop client. PokerStars stayed true to its goal. The site offered New Jersey residents and visitors a similar yet localized experience to that of PokerStars players around the globe.
The site launched under the Resorts Casino Hotel’s online gambling license. Next, PokerStars NJ even went as far as to offer the last held VIP status, Play Money Chips, and StarsCoin (Frequent Player Points) to players who previously held accounts on PokerStars before the company was forced out of the U.S. market in 2011.
PokerStars originally applied for an online gaming license in 2013. But the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement did not approve the application until September 2015.
Resorts / Mohegan Sun – February / July 2015
Resorts may have been New Jersey’s first legal land-based casino, but Resorts was one of the last to enter the online casino market. ResortsCasino.com launched in February 2015. In July 2015, sister site MoheganSunCasino.com also launched under the Resorts online gaming license. In addition to Resorts, Mohegan Sun operates casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania under its own name.
Pala online casino – November 2014
Pala Interactive, LLC announced the official launch of PalaCasino.com in New Jersey on November 25, 2014.
The iGaming platform and online casino featured more than 90 games at launch and claimed to provide a seamless and entertaining user experience.
Pala Interactive is an iGaming operator that was founded in 2013 in anticipation of a number of U.S. states passing legislation allowing real-money internet wagering. The Company’s majority shareholder is the Pala Band of Mission Indians, which owns and operates the Pala Casino Spa and Resort in Pala, California. The New Jersey online casino site was launched under the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa’s online gaming license.
At the time, Pala said it was focused on providing an improved user experience and offered New Jersey players the opportunity to take a free spin daily for the chance to win a million dollars on its exclusive PalaCasino.com Slot Machine. Pala Interactive said it planned to launch a New Jersey online poker site in the first quarter of 2015. But that did not happen.
However, Pala Interactive launched PalaBingoUSA.com, New Jersey’s first dedicated 90-Ball Online Bingo website in March 2016.
Background on the NJ online casino market
Online gaming in New Jersey officially launched on November 21, 2013. Six Atlantic City land-based casinos debuted seven online casinos and six online poker sites.
The seven New Jersey online casinos available at launch included:
- BorgataCasino.com (Borgata)
- CaesarsCasino.com (Caesars)
- HarrahsCasino.com (Caesars)
- us.888Casino.com (Caesars)
- TropicanaCasino.com (Tropicana)
- BetfairCasino.com (Trump Plaza)
- UltimateCasino.com (Trump Taj Mahal)
The original six New Jersey online poker sites included:
- BorgataPoker.com (Borgata)
- NJ.partypoker.com (Borgata)
- WSOP.com (Caesars)
- us.888Poker.com (Caesars)
- UltimatePoker.com (Trump Taj Mahal)
- BetfairPoker.com (Trump Plaza)
Golden Nugget online casino
The Golden Nugget online casino was scheduled to launch with the other online casinos in New Jersey in November 2013. However, technical issues during the beta testing period forced operators to wait. The Golden Nugget New Jersey online casino site eventually launched in December 2013.
Virgin NJ online casino
Tropicana launched TropicanaCasino.com in partnership with Gamesys alongside New Jersey’s other original seven online casinos in November 2013. Just a few months later, in January 2014, the two got together to launch sister site VirginCasino.com, bringing the worldwide entertainment, travel and gaming brand to the burgeoning New Jersey online casino market.
Betfair makes a move
The closure of the Trump Plaza hotel and casino in September 2014 forced Betfair to find a new home for its New Jersey online casino and poker sites.
But the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement allowed Betfair to continue operating temporarily under Caesars online gaming license until it eventually found a permanent home at the Golden Nugget. Betfair quickly closed its online poker site after landing at Golden Nugget.
Ultimate Poker and Ultimate Casino walk away
When the Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy in September 2014, Ultimate Casino, and eventually Ultimate Poker, both closed up shop, claiming issues with payments from the online gaming license holder.
New Jersey’s iGaming future
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s continued willingness to grant approval for out-of-state operators to partner with existing New Jersey iGaming licensees to run online casino and poker sites makes one thing clear: The ceiling for New Jersey’s iGaming market is a lot higher than originally anticipated.
In the beginning, the idea that only Atlantic City casinos would be granted iGaming licenses made it sound like the number of online gaming sites would be limited to just a handful. That’s all out the window now.
It’s difficult to predict:
- How many other brands want in
- How many more partnerships existing New Jersey iGaming licensees want to get involved with, or
- When the market will reach saturation.
However, it’s easy to see the New Jersey online casino market is still a growing one. The number of new sites, from in and outside of New Jersey, is likely to increase alongside of it.