[toc]The New Jersey casino market has come quite a ways since its infant days.
What was once a smattering of operations hindered by technological and payment processing limitations, and severely lacking in game selection, is now a finely tuned machine, catering to the needs of even the most stubborn gambler.
The proof is in the pudding, as New Jersey online gambling revenues have been on an upward trajectory for the better part of a year now.
But that’s not to say the state’s licensed casinos aren’t without their flaws, minor as they might be.
Here’s a look at a few ways NJ online casinos can do even better.
More PayPal please
When PayPal first landed in New Jersey last September, it was hoped that more and more operators would introduce the popular and well-respected e-wallet as a front line cashiering method.
So far, that really hasn’t happened.
The current status of PayPal in the NJ online gambling arena isn’t all that much different than it was eight months ago, as to date the only online casinos and poker rooms that have adopted the method are those affiliated with Caesars. On the casino front, those are limited to Caesars Casino, Harrah’s Casino, and 888 Casino – the latter of two which boast a very limited casino offering.
While the widespread use of PayPal isn’t necessarily critical for market growth, it lends increased credibility to the industry, all the while adding another viable cashiering option for those who have struggled with other methods.
Bigger table game libraries
But the vast majority of sites are lacking when it comes to other popular table games.
There are a few exceptions. For instance, Tropicana Casino and Virgin Casino spread their fair share of alternative table games such as Pai Gow Poker, Hi-Lo and baccarat. And the Golden Nugget Casino has fan favorites Let it Ride and Three Card Poker.
However, no one casino has what we’d call a robust offering of these “carnival” games. It looks like this may change eventually, but for now, new table game launches are too few and far between.
The problems with video poker
It’s not completely uncommon to find a site that supports multiple versions of popular video poker variants such as Jacks or Better and Double Double Bonus Poker.
One, typically the Game King version, will offer considerably better payout schedules than another offered by a different party. Why? We’re not exactly sure, but the practice comes off as a bit unsettling.
With this is mind, gamblers are generally advised to stay away from any virtual video game terminal that isn’t adorned with the Game King logo.
Going further, there aren’t enough multi-line and specialty video poker games. Three and five line machines were recently introduced, which is a start, but there’s still no Ultimate X, 10-play (or 25 and 100-play for that matter) and no single line Deuces Wild by Game King.
The inclusion of these virtual terminals may go a long way toward attracting the video poker crowd.
Better cross-promotional tie-ins
New Jersey online casinos have a unique advantage in that they’re tied to brick and mortar establishments in Atlantic City, although often times, you wouldn’t know it.
Until recently, the best cross-promotions awarded online sweepstakes winners with room stays, and maybe a free meal or show, at an affiliated AC venue.
Better, but still not enough.
The opportunities for cross-promotional tie-ins are numerous, and would prove beneficial to both the online casino and its land-based counterparts.
A few ideas:
- Online giveaways that award entries into live slot/video poker/blackjack tournaments.
- Better land-based casino mailers based on online play.
- Apply online bonus dollars to land-based accounts – Caesars already does this with Total Rewards.
- Increased loyalty point conversion rates for players who gamble online from an affiliated AC resort.
And the list goes on.
All told, these are minor gripes, but in order for NJ online casinos to maximize their earnings, all the while remaining competitive with one another, they cannot simply rest on their laurels.