Free-To-Play Social Casino Could Help Hard Rock Strengthen Its Bottom Line

Written By Grant Lucas on January 11, 2024
hard rock games logo on a phone for a story on hard rock's new free-to-play casino launching

The expansion of legal sports betting and online casino gaming has taken the United States by storm over the past few years. More and more states are looking to join the likes of New Jersey, which has long stood as the gold standard for legal online gambling.

Hard Rock Digital, a mainstay in the industry, is expanding its reach. Not only to prepare for more potential jurisdictions to authorize online gambling but also to allow people in states without legal iGaming to enjoy its product.

Last month, the company announced the creation of Hard Rock Games, which according to a press release is “focused on the development and management of its free-to-play online and mobile games.” Essentially, thanks to the addition of the social gaming brand WGames, Hard Rock Games went live as a free-to-play social casino that costs absolutely nothing for customers to play.

The press release noted that Hard Rock will benefit from the in-house technology and operational and development capabilities “to accelerate its social gaming growth.” No doubt, though, this launch will also fuel Hard Rock’s bottom line within the world of online casinos in New Jersey and elsewhere.

More about introduction of Hard Rock Games social casino

The rollout of the free-to-play platform came amid Hard Rock’s acquisition of Toronto-based WGames, allowing Hard Rock to integrate such games as Jackpot Planet and Neverland Casino. It also allows Hard Rock to bring in game-creation capabilities rather than building its own in-house studio.

Before taking over WGames, Hard Rock’s social casino only featured four titles. And while WGames only features two games on its website (Jackpot Planet and Neverland Casino), as mentioned, the game-creation will certainly help Hard Rock expand its free-to-play offerings.

“With the addition of WGames’ world class games, technology and operations, we have set the stage to accelerate growth for our social gaming business,” Rafi Ashkenazi, executive managing director of Hard Rock Digital, said in a press release.

“Hard Rock Games’ enhanced capabilities will allow us to better engage our worldwide player communities with exceptional digital experiences and entertain our players like no one else can.”

Why real-money NJ online casinos offer free-to-play games

It’s no secret that gambling companies want to deepen their clientele pools. The more customers, the stronger the bottom line.

Obviously not every state allows for legal online gambling. (Some states don’t even allow social casinos.) By diving into – and expanding its own – free-to-play casino gaming, companies like Hard Rock can gain access to an otherwise untapped market.

For Hard Rock, it also connects what already exists: Hard Rock Online Casino NJ.

What that means for Hard Rock NJ

The company connected Hard Rock Games to its Unity rewards program, which recently rolled out in New Jersey to replace Wild Card Rewards. It may seem obvious and even innocuous. But consider what that entails.

The free-to-play Hard Rock Games platform currently boasts promotions for Unity points and Tier Credits. Accrue enough and players can redeem those points and credits for giveaways and getaways, including trips to Hard Rock hotels and casinos. What’s more, customers can earn free play opportunities.

So, if you’re in New Jersey, you could theoretically earn free plays through the free-to-play titles at Hard Rock Games and take them to Hard Rock Online Casino.

The social casino is a relatively big deal for Hard Rock. It’s not just a free-to-play offering. As the company put it in its own press release, it’s “an introduction to the world of Hard Rock.”

Its restaurants, hotels, resorts. And perhaps more important: its online casino.

Photo by PlayNJ
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant now focuses his attention on the growing NJ online gambling and sports betting scene.

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