Here comes MGM to NJ online gambling
MGM Resorts International was already involved in the NJ online casino market, as it owns 100 percent of the Borgata now. (Borgata already runs its own online gambling and poker sites, in addition to other brands being under its online gaming license in the state.)
But for the first time, MGM will have its name on an online casino that takes real-money wagers. That goes not just for New Jersey, but for anywhere.
Its PlayMGM offering has both online casino games and online poker, powered by GAN.
The casino will not be functionally different from the existing Borgata casino that uses the same software. But it will include MGM branding.
The same goes for online poker. PlayMGM’s online poker room will be a part of the Borgata / Party Poker NJ network, with the same software but its own look and branding.
What MGM’s appearance means for NJ
MGM going live in New Jersey certainly signals the gaming and resort company’s desire to be in the iGaming space in a meaningful way. The company likely has designs beyond New Jersey, as other states consider legalization of online gambling.
“We are thrilled to be entering the online gaming landscape in New Jersey with the expansion of our playMGM.com platform to include both casino and poker games,” said Corey Sanders, Chief Operating Officer of MGM, in a press release about the launch.
“The ability to effectively bring Las Vegas to New Jersey via an online experience is an exciting undertaking, especially as we continue to develop our presence on the East Coast with the recent acquisition of Borgata, the opening of MGM National Harbor and the pending 2018 opening of MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.”
Massachusetts is a possibility for legalizing iGaming in the near term, but Maryland (home of National Harbor) has not been on the radar for online poker and casinos.
How much it will move the needle in an existing market that has been seeing 30 percent year-over-year growth remains to be seen. But the presence of MGM-branded online casinos in other states could move the needle immediately, because of its widely known brand recognition.
Scores joins the NJ online gambling party, too
Another online casino is also now available in the state — via the strip club chain Scores.
Atlantic City is no longer home to a Scores club — it closed after the Trump Taj Mahal closed its doors. But the brand is still well known — and there is the Scores in New York City.
The launch of the Scores casino had been much less publicized. It operates as an affiliate of Pala Casino, another platform under the Borgata gaming license.
The platform also features poker, appearing as a part of the Pala Poker network.
The addition of two new online casinos appears to signal no one thinks the NJ iGaming market is done growing. And if not that, everyone is still trying to get a larger piece of the iGaming revenue pie, which eclipses $20 million a month for the market as a whole.