There was a celebration after February’s New Jersey online casino gaming revenue numbers came to light.
The news was good. In fact, it was record-setting good. After the metaphorical confetti settled, however, there was one lingering question.
The short answer is “no.” Catching up will require taking risks in a risk-adverse industry. We’re talking risks the other casinos haven’t shown they are willing to take.
To be clear, the other NJ online casinos are doing fine. Golden Nugget is just better. Golden Nugget rakes in more than double the revenue of its nearest competitor, Borgata.
What sets Golden Nugget NJ apart?
The way to capture online gaming market share is to differentiate from the competition, and Golden Nugget has worked hard to do that.
The company was the first to offer live dealer games and continues adding to its live dealer portfolio. The latest addition, Live Dealer Online Poker, launched in January.
Considering the first live dealer games arrived in August 2016, it’s surprising none of the other operators have invested in something similar.
Besides live dealer games, the other bold move contributing to Golden Nugget’s success was bringing the popular and high-performing skins Betfair and SugarHouse into the fold. These partnerships proved fruitful for the Golden Nugget brand.
While it’s easy to see how live dealer games and superior skins contribute to Golden Nugget’s bottom line, what happens behind the scenes deserves most of the credit.
An aggressive and forward-thinking management team really sets Golden Nugget apart. Without a team in place willing to try new things, be first to market, and forgo settling for the status quo, significant growth is practically impossible.
Closing the gap between Golden Nugget and the rest
When live dealer games launched in New Jersey, they disrupted the online casino market. For another online casino to think about closing the gap, it should not only copy what is working for Golden Nugget but also do a little disrupting themselves.
Disruption, or any kind of change for that matter, is risky. It takes time, creative thought, and an investment in the product.
To catch up, NJ online casinos have to start thinking bigger. They have to offer some shiny new object to entice Golden Nugget’s customers away from their online gaming routine.
The best NJ gambling sites must let their actions prove how much they want to be the best. Their promotions have to be better, registration has to be easier and faster, and there better be something new and exciting waiting for customers when they get on the inside.
Don’t forget Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort
All this being said, the New Jersey online casino market is about to become more crowded, making the aforementioned goals even more pressing.
Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino are scheduled to come online later this year. That means the clock is ticking for Borgata, Resorts, Caesars, and Tropicana to differentiate themselves.
It’s already a race for second place. Two more competitors will only make closing the gap between Golden Nugget and the rest of the pack more difficult.
Of course, it’s difficult to say how the two new casinos on the live and virtual Boardwalk will impact the existing casinos revenue-wise. They might bring new customers with them, or they might dilute the market share by capturing existing ones.
The reality is it will probably be a combination of both.