It seems that in the Garden State, new online casino game providers are continually popping up. That could be the case once again, as the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has just licensed another, GameCo.
The gaming company, which prides itself on its video game gambling machines, is now approved for operation in NJ. But many of the details on when New Jersey residents and visitors will actually be able to access the games remain undecided.
However, it’s a first for the company and puts GameCo in a thriving online gambling market.
“We are looking forward to bringing our exclusive range of products and experiences to such a robust and innovating gaming market,” said Blaine Graboyes, co-founder and CEO of GameCo.
What to know about GameCo
GameCo is an entertainment company with headquarters in Las Vegas. The company also has offices in New York City. It calls itself “the foremost innovator and trailblazer” of casino products.
Additionally, the company has its hands in the esports industry. This takes the shape of video game tournaments and an esports wagering platform.
GameCo already operates in California, Mississippi, Nevada and Oklahoma. There, it has partnerships with brick-and-mortar gaming facilities such as tribal casinos.
The suite of products it offers there on the gambling side is similar to online card games and slots that NJ gamblers are already familiar with. GameCo tries to differentiate itself, however, by targeting a younger crowd.
The company says its products are “designed to attract and monetize Gen X and Millennial players at retail and digital casinos.”
To gain a foothold in NJ, it will have to prove it’s successful at doing just that for Atlantic City’s mainstays. In 2016, GameCo introduced its skill-based casino games at Caesars properties.
Now that GameCo has a portfolio of online and esports games, its DGE approval means it can offer its digital games to NJ online casinos.
GameCo games and NJ online casinos
The highlight of GameCo, of course, is the video game gambling machine. Casinos in Vegas showcase the VGMs, which basically mix video games with gambling. Here’s how GameCo explains gameplay on its website:
“A chance element determines how much a player can win on each action, event, or bet and then it is up to the player to complete the game and win! Each bet is totally independent of previous and future bets. The outcome of each bet is determined by a game specific combination of player’s ability and chance.”
The entrance into New Jersey comes as GameCo plans to release a new Multiplayer Arena game. The esports option for land-based casinos allows players “to compete head-to-head or in esports-style tournaments” on the casino floor.
The first Multiplayer Arena games will include All-Star Hoops, a 3-D basketball video game and SoulCaliburII: Casino Edition from Bandai Namco.
Skill-based games at NJ online casinos would be just one more on a list of innovations for the seven-year-old industry. It would also be a first for GameCo. How the market will respond to the new games is a mystery. But online gambling demographics already skew younger.
“GameCo pioneered the video game gambling category in New Jersey,” said Graboyes, “and we plan to do the same with esports betting and skill-based iGaming, satisfying a massive demand from Gen X and millennial players.”
On the hunt for online and retail partnerships
While licensure is significant, it’s only preliminary. To actually start accepting NJ online casino customers, GameCo must find an online casino partner. A casino service industry enterprise license is just a vendor license.
All online casinos operate via an AC casino license. There are two dozen NJ online casino apps.
With a DGE license in hand, the provider can conduct serious negotiations for market entry. For example, GameCo could make a deal with Golden Nugget online casino, the top dog in the market. The app already has 700+ games and was the first to add live dealer games back in 2016.
After securing a deal, the two parties can submit their contract for final regulatory approval.
At that point, it’s just a matter of how quickly GameCo can get its products up to code and flip the switch. Right now, the company has no public timeline for launch in New Jersey.
With revenue of nearly $85 million amid a viral pandemic, it’s easy to see why the company is so keen on getting into NJ. Even a small piece of that online pie could represent a large uptick in activity.
It’s probably just a matter of time until NJ gamblers can give GameCo a go. The numbers will prove whether it is as successful with younger people in the state as it promises.