Nobody will argue Wheel of Fortune is one of the most popular TV game shows.
There is a very good chance you’ll also find the slot machine version when visiting your favorite Atlantic City casino.
However, here in the Garden State, the Wheel of Fortune name is about to join the likes of BetMGM, Golden Nugget, and DraftKings.
That’s right, Wheel of Fortune will be launching as a NJ online casino later this year. BetMGM sent out a press release earlier today announcing the agreement with Sony Pictures Television and IGT.
Details regarding a specific launch date were not included.
More about the BetMGM, Sony Pictures, IGT deal
The timing of this news coincides with the gameshow celebrating its milestone 40th season as a gameshow. The current version, with Pat Sajak and Vanna White hosting, premiered on Sept. 19, 1983.
Being a full brand-led NJ online casino, however, is a new concept. New Jersey will be the first North American jurisdiction where the app is available.
The reality is more than more than 250 versions of Wheel of Fortune slot games have been introduced over the last 25 years. So this online launch of Wheel of Fortune Casino represents a significant gaming extension for the brand.
Some might question why BetMGM is adding yet another brand with Borgata, Party and its namesake NJ online casino among the market leaders.
Well, Matt Prevost, Chief Revenue Officer, BetMGM, explains ““Wheel of Fortune is watched nightly by millions of people and BetMGM is honored to partner with Sony Pictures Television and IGT to bring this online casino experience to life.”
“Once live, Wheel of Fortune Casino will offer players the excitement of their favorite gameshow and real money wagering in the palm of their hand.”
The press release does not include specifics regarding what table games or other slots will be available. For now, the details are very general.
The product will house “will house America’s Game-branded slot titles produced by global gaming leader IGT, along with many other themed games and features.”
The Wheel of Fortune evolution
Wheel of Fortune, the gameshow version, actually debuted Jan. 6, 1975. However, Chuck Woolery was the original host.
Sajak took over hosting duties in 1981. Back then, shows like “Dallas” and “The Jeffersons” were among some of the primetime TV hits.
So Wheel of Fortune online casino already has stronger brand recognition than several existing NJ mobile casinos. Add in its popularity as a slot title, and the plan seems to be a win-win for BetMGM, IGT and Sony Pictures.
Enrico Drago, CEO Digital & Betting, IGT, said, “We’re excited to celebrate the evolution of the IGT Wheel of Fortune slot brand with BetMGM and Sony Pictures Television through the launch of Wheel of Fortune Casino.
“The Wheel of Fortune brand has been synonymous with slot gaming for more than 25 years, and this unprecedented brand-led online casino, driven by BetMGM’s compelling platform and promotional capabilities, is well-positioned to engage and entertain new and long-time players.”
The new online casino will fall under the Borgata Internet gaming license as a result of its existing BetMGM partnership.
And speaking of Borgata, the license holder is tops when it comes to NJ online casino revenue. For May alone, the MGM-owned property and its online partners reported $42.6 million while the market as a whole earned $136 million.