Slot Machines Turned Back On At The Stardust Casino, NJ Online Version

FanDuel Group sees the Stardust Casino app as a means to tap into a meaningful segment of the NJ online casino market.

Who remembers when the Stardust Casino was imploded on March 13, 2007?

And when the building came crashing down on the Las Vegas Strip, it seemed like the Stardust name was gone with it.

Well, here we are in 2021, and guess what name is back in business?

OK. An NJ online casino app doesn’t exactly measure up with a Las Vegas casino resort, but nostalgia is nostalgia.

Stardust Casino is the rebranded version of the former Betfair casino. The product is a joint venture between FanDuel Group and Boyd Gaming Corporation. And it’s available in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania markets, officially launching on April 19.

And like with Betfair, it falls under the Golden Nugget Online Gaming license.

To get a better idea of what the product is all about and how things are going so far, NJ Gambling Sites caught up with Jesse Chemtob, GM of casino at FanDuel Group.

Farewell Betfair, hello Stardust

Those who keep track of NJ online casino apps are aware the Betfair brand is one of the originals, launching in 2013.

However, it has a bigger following overseas than here in the United States.

As far as Stardust goes, it’s really too early to accurately judge how well it’s performing in the mature Garden State market. However, Chemtob said overall the feedback has been pretty positive.

He noted they knew going in there would be a segment of the casino audience that would have some recognition with the Stardust brand.

“… Going in, like with any rebrand, there’s a kind of risk that people are confused, but by all accounts, the rebrand for us went pretty smoothly,” said Chemtob. “Users kind of woke up on the day of the rebrand and they were able to update their Betfair app to a Stardust branded app. It was pretty seamless from that perspective.”

Instead of surprising existing Betfair customers, the FanDuel team took the change-is-coming approach. Communicating with the customer base about the rebrand was a big part of it.

And the login credentials customers used for Betfair are still good with the Stardust brand.

“… By all accounts, it’s been pretty smooth, and feedback has been pretty positive. Just anecdotally we’ve been getting feedback from customers that they like the new look and feel, and the different front end of the casino experience. We’re pretty pleased, to be honest,” said Chemtob.

Stardust users based in New Jersey currently can choose from more than 400 games.

The FanDuel-Boyd-Stardust connection

So those familiar with Las Vegas history know the Stardust is a former Boyd Gaming property.

Plus, FanDuel and Boyd have an existing relationship. Boyd also owns Valley Forge Casino Resort, which is home to a FanDuel Sportsbook.

FanDuel Casino is connected to the same land-based partnership.

Call the Stardust Casino the latest phase to this “great partnership with Boyd.”

“…We have this relationship with them and we really looked at, Stardust as a means to be able to tap into a meaningful segment of the casino market, aside from just the sports-led casino players,” said Chemtob. “And that’s really what drove the decision around Stardust and how we landed on that with Boyd. It’s really a means to be able to tap into a wider casino customer base.”

Co-existence of FanDuel and Stardust casinos

Like Pennsylvania, New Jersey customers have access to two different casino brands under the FanDuel Group umbrella.

FanDuel Sportsbook mobile customers who click on the casino icon are transferred to FanDuel Casino. However, desktop/web browser users are sent to Stardust.

In the Garden State, even the FanDuel Casino option is still fairly new as the change happened earlier this year. Previously, slots and table game players would be sent to Betfair.

So for those wondering if one casino is more popular than the other, FanDuel Group views the situation from a different perspective. Chemtob said, “We look at them as co-existing with somewhat distinct customer bases.”

On one side there is the FanDuel casino that is “more cross-sell driven, will be more male-skewing, and kind of look more similar to the composition of the sportsbook customer base. More male-skewing, maybe a bit younger.”

However, Stardust users, at least since the rebrand, are both male and female.

“When you look at the Stardust customer base, previously the Betfair customer base, it was a bit more balanced in terms of the male, female split, and skewed a bit older than the cross-sell audience,” said  Chemtob.

“… For the cross-sell audience, it’s more table games led, given the male skew. And Stardust it’s more slots led given the mix of male-female. We think there are two distinct audiences there that are worth going after.”

Bringing Las Vegas nostalgia back to life

In the NJ online casino world, the Stardust name is still the newbie. And the industry is an extremely competitive one with heavyweights like Golden Nugget online casino and BetMGM leading the way.

However, there are some Garden State customers extremely familiar with the Stardust name. This is especially true for those fond of old Las Vegas nostalgia.

The property, which opened in 1958, enjoyed nearly a 50-year run on the North end of the Las Vegas Strip. The land where it once stood is where Resorts World Las Vegas is opening next month.

So as a result of this rich history, the Stardust online casino is in a different category than say an online operator entering the market from Europe.

Chemtob explains:

“Obviously, we’re not starting from zero because there is some brand recognition with Stardust, which is a good thing. But we are starting from a place where we need to build up that brand affinity in New Jersey for the Stardust brand, amongst this wider casino consumer.”

And for those players unfamiliar with the classic Stardust name, the plan is to build awareness and comfortability.

“… Obviously there’s a lot of competition now, but I don’t think the strategy is dissimilar. We just have a bit more to talk about in terms of the brand equity of Stardust, and this nostalgia element of old Las Vegas that we think really resonates with people,” said Chemtob.

Stardust sticking with NJ and PA, for now

Unlike online sports betting, the US is still rather limited when it comes to online casino markets. Besides NJ and PA,  Michigan is the newcomer while West Virginia has limited offerings.

Of course, there is the possibility more states could pass legislation down the road, potentially opening the door for Stardust to build a bigger following.

FanDuel is live in Michigan, but the company has no plans to roll out the Stardust app there.

“Right now, we’re not considering a separate stand-alone brand approach in Michigan. But in future states, we’re going to see how it goes in New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Chemtob.

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Stardust Casino Launches Online, Mobile In NJ, PA

Stardust Casino is returning New Jersey online gambling to the “Golden Age of gaming,” with the launch of a new website and mobile app.

New Jersey online gambling is returning to the “Golden Age of gaming,” with the launch of Stardust Casino.

FanDuel Group and Boyd Gaming Corporation brought back the legendary casino brand on Monday with the introduction of Stardust Online Casino in NJ and Pennsylvania. The app is available on iOS and Android in both states, and the website is taking bets in NJ.

“For nearly 50 years, the Stardust was one of the most famous casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. And while the resort has been gone for more than a decade, the Stardust brand is still as well-known and popular as ever,” said Keith Smith, president and CEO of Boyd Gaming, in a statement announcing the online casino’s launch.

Stardust Casino brings back some old Vegas ‘nostalgia’

FanDuel has rebranded its existing Betfair Casino in New Jersey under Boyd Gaming’s Stardust brand. Betfair dates back to 2013, the first year for NJ online casinos.

Like Betfair, Stardust is operating under the Golden Nugget Online Gaming License.

“The new Stardust Casino will retain all of the great games that customers love on Betfair Casino, while incorporating a new stylish look that captures the glitz, glamour, and nostalgia of old Las Vegas,” said Amy Howe, president of FanDuel Group.

So this means Betfair NJ customers will now be automatically redirected to Stardust. And to make the transition easier, existing customers can use the same login information.

Stardust is using FanDuel’s player account management system, so deposited funds on one site can be wagered on both. The online casino will be linked to Boyd Gaming’s B Connected player loyalty program, allowing players to earn points and tier credits for their online play.

Lots of table games, slot options

NJ online gamblers can find all of their favorite casino games on the new Stardust website or app.  Here are some of the table games:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Baccarat
  • Live dealer

The mobile app carries some of the most popular slot titles, including:

  • Divine Fortune
  • Dancing Drums
  • Double Diamond
  • Cleopatra

More than 300 slot games are currently online.

Viva Las Vegas Stardust

The Stardust Resort & Casino in Las Vegas was, arguably, one of the most iconic gambling parlors in history.

The quirky, futuristic space-themed casino opened in 1958 and closed in 2006.

But it is perhaps most famous as the inspiration for the 1995 film, Casino.

Although the fictional casino in the movie is called the Tangiers, the story’s main characters are based on mob gangsters who ran the Stardust and other Vegas casinos in the 1970s and ‘80s.

Speaking of old Las Vegas, there is some irony with the timing of the Stardust brand coming back to life. Resorts World Las Vegas, which is replacing Stardust on the Las Vegas Strip, announced its opening date (June 24) this week.

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FanDuel Sportsbook And Betfair NJ Online Casino Now Have A Shared Wallet

FanDuel Sportsbook promotes Betfair’s online gambling site so that NJ sports betting enthusiasts now have easy access to casino games and slots.

Are you one of those bettors who likes placing a wager on an NFL or college football bowl game before heading off to play some blackjack, roulette, or slots?

Then the Betfair Casino promotional banner located at the top of the FanDuel Sportsbook home page is likely going to catch your attention.

It reads: Blackjack, Roulette, Slots & More! Play $100 risk-free.

Translation: FanDuel and Betfair quietly linked the two apps together via a shared wallet.

Deposited funds are now available to use for NJ sports betting and online casino games. Call it an on-the-fly approach without the flashy advertising.

FanDuel and Betfair are well-established brands both operating under the FanDuel Group banner. The apps are currently separate, but the same username and password applies for both. There is no need to create different login credentials.

Linking your FanDuel and Betfair accounts

FanDuel Sportsbook customers now have access to hundreds of real money casino games.

Once you’ve created an account, the next step is depositing funds. Credit or debit card, FanDuel prepaid card, PayPal, ACH, online bank transfer, wire transfer, PayNearMe, cash at counter and check are the accepted baking methods.

Once the funds appear in your wallet, the sports betting and casino playing can begin.

Betfair Casino is offering FanDuel Sportsbook customers the opportunity to play casino games risk-free up to $100 for the first day.

Net losses within the first 24 hours of placing initial real money wager will be given as casino site credit up to $100. The offer applies to new casino players only.

Betfair and FanDuel are one team

Paddy Power Betfair, well known as one of the largest bookmakers in the world, is the parent company of both brands.

The London-based Betfair completed the merger of US operations with FanDuel back in July. The combined offerings also include the FanDuel daily fantasy sports product and TVG.

At the time. the FanDuel Group product line, according to the news release, had a presence in 45 states, eight million customers, and $265 million in annual revenue “making it a leader across daily fantasy sports, horse racing wagering and gaming.

The FanDuel retail sportsbook opened at the Meadowlands Racetrack on July 14. The FanDuel Sportsbook app followed on Sept. 1.

In New Jersey, FanDuel enjoyed its strongest month to date in November with $4.4 million in revenue, according to figures released by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Overall, it was good enough for second best. The $7.2 million earned by Resorts Digital, the majority of which was DraftKings Sportsbook, led the field.

What’s next for the FanDuel brand?

Over the summer, Online Poker Report mentioned that FanDuel Group was looking to add a branded NJ online casino featuring slots and table games. 

FanDuel’s longtime competitor, DraftKings, recently added blackjack to its slate of NJ online gambling options.

But one of the possibilities mentioned early on was rebranding the Betfair Casino app/web platform to FanDuel Casino. While the changeover has not happened yet, the shared wallet and links between the two platforms seem like a logical first step.  

Optimistic Betfair Pleased With FanDuel’s Performance In NJ Sports Betting

In its earnings call last week, Paddy Power Betfair’s CEO Peter Jackson called FanDuel Sportsbook a success with optimism for NJ sports betting.

Third-quarter revenue figures for Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) did not blow away the competition.

Frankly, they might not have even led company higher-ups to exchange high-fives in between fist pumps.

That is not to say PPB did not fare well.

According to the company’s earnings call last week, PPB revenues in the third quarter, excluding losses within its US sports betting business, reflected a 12 percent increase, though earnings remained flat.

Despite the report signifying a slight step backward, PPB maintains a rosy outlook.

After all, company CEO Peter Jackson said, PPB has the potential to make waves in the ever-expanding world of legalized wagering in the US, particularly in New Jersey, where FanDuel Sportsbook has established itself as a power in the NJ sports betting industry.

“This gives us continued confidence that we’re well positioned to win further market share,” Jackson said during the earnings call. “In the US, Q3 was an exciting period. We saw good momentum in each of our existing businesses and the successful launch of FanDuel sportsbook. The start of the NFL season is the key customer acquisition opportunity for fantasy sports each year, and we’ve been very pleased of our performance this year.”

FanDuel becoming a Betfair jewel

Jackson noted that early indicators in New Jersey point to “both the latent market opportunity and our strong relative positioning.”

Underlying growth in US revenues, he added, have stemmed from new game formats and an initiative to attract recreational bettors. Additionally, the execution of promotions and marketing have helped PPB become a major sports betting player.

Despite mobile NJ sports betting products growing from three products to eight in October, Jackson remains confident in PPB’s standing.

Particularly in the retail aspect, an area in which FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack has led the industry each month since opening in July. Paddy Power Betfair acquired FanDuel just before debuting in the NJ sports betting industry.

“We shared some snippets on that today as we talked about the amounts of staking that we’re seeing in our retail shop, up to sort of $1.5 million a day at the moment, and we’re very proud of that,” Jackson said. “I think it must be one of the busiest shops in the world. But our online business is bigger.

“So yeah, I think the market may well have grown into October, it’s a very busy month in the U.S., but our business has as well. So I think we’re very pleased with our positioning, and I can’t comment on what other people are doing, but our strategy seems to be working.”

Still room to grow in NJ sports betting

Jackson conceded that PPB’s success in New Jersey certainly benefited from a packed sports schedule in October. The NFL was in full swing, the MLB postseason took center stage, and the NBA opened its season.

October “is a big month for sports in the US and so we would have expected a degree of step up,” Jackson said. “But I think, this is going to be a submaturity of the market and it’s going to take some time before it’s fully mature. I mean, we’ve got some exciting plans, what we do with the Meadowlands.”

To become a leading sports betting power, Jackson mentioned, PPB needs to boast leading propositions for customers.

Jackson said that is exactly what has transpired in New Jersey, via “FanDuel’s market-leading app, with a broadest range of betting markets, competitive pricing, and generous headline promotions.”

From fantasy sports to sports betting

Paddy Power Betfair continues working toward building its customer base, Jackson said. New Jersey trends indicate the value of FanDuel’s daily fantasy sports presence.

That includes “players who’ve been active with FanDuel recently, and perhaps more encouragingly, with respect to dormant customers re-engaging with the brand.”

Added Jackson:

“We’re not going to give the breakdowns, but it clearly gives us a real advantage in the market.”

FanDuel alone has inspired enthusiasm for PPB’s future. When comparing expected first-year revenues with the acquisition cost, Jackson said: “We’re very happy with those unit economics.”

PPB ready to go all-in

Certainly, Paddy Power Betfair envisions a future featuring more robust revenue figures.

In order to reach such heights, Jackson said, PPB will need to continue “substantial investment” in promotions and marketing. Jackson added PPB will not be shy about investing. “But we will do so in a disciplined manner,” he said, “that focuses on returns generated from spend.”

How future revenues look depends on factors like the evolution of the NJ industry and other markets going live.

Several backers agree with Jackson about PPB’s future hold on the sports betting industry.

Morgan Stanley said that “Paddy Power Betfair’s US business is seen as a key play on the attractive US opportunity, and M&A upside risk is increasing, in our view.”

Added UBS:

“We believe (Paddy Power is) well positioned in the US with FanDuel, which combined with the market size potential means we see potential positive catalysts were we to get more comfort around the UK performance.”

Betfair Sets Sights On NJ Sports Betting, Teams Up With Meadowlands

With NJ sports betting set to launch soon, Betfair US gets into the game with a long-term partnership with Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey along with Tioga Downs in New York.

Jeff Gural doesn’t have his casino yet, but legal NJ sports betting may tide him over for the time being.

This past week, Gural and international sports betting firm Betfair US announced via press release a long-term deal in which the company would provide sports betting services to Gural’s Meadowlands Racetrack.

“We could not be more excited to partner with Jeff Gural and his partners for sports betting in New Jersey and New York,” Betfair US CEO Kip Levin said in the release. “Meadowlands Racetrack has the potential to be among the best, if not the best, sports betting venues in the US. Combining these premier facilities with the global sports betting prowess of Paddy Power Betfair is a great match and will enable us to bring an unparalleled sports betting experience to customers in the northeast.”

Betfair US is one of four brands under the Paddy Power Betfair umbrella. In addition to the Meadowlands deal, Betfair launched a long-term partnership with New York’s Tioga Downs.

“We went through a diligent process and reviewed several options to provide customers with the best sports betting experience possible,” Gural said in the press release. “In the end, Betfair’s world-leading products and experience proved the best choice. We are eager to get started with our partners, with whom we have had a long relationship for racing with TVG, on this exciting venture.”

Betfair expands New Jersey presence

If Betfair US sounds familiar, it’s because they have an NJ gambling site: Betfair online casino runs via Golden Nugget Atlantic City’s license.

They’re also New Jersey’s premier provider of online horse racing betting via TVG. And, earlier this month, Paddy Power Betfair bought daily fantasy sports site FanDuel that should launch later this year.

Its new partnerships ensure that the company has a stake in four major NJ gambling markets: online casino, racetrack wagering, daily fantasy sports, and sports betting.

Meadowlands adds clout

Gural, chairman of Meadowlands and Tioga Downs, was one of the most outspoken proponents of expanding casino gambling beyond Atlantic City.

A referendum calling for the addition of up to two casinos outside of Atlantic City failed by a 2-to-1 margin in November 2016. However, Gural hasn’t given up hope.

The partnership with Betfair will benefit the property whether Gural gets a casino or not. But the presence of such a powerful international name no doubt sets up a strong infrastructure for a future casino.

NJ sports betting and Betfair: Timing is everything

While no specific sports betting launch date has been set, it would be Gural’s sweet revenge if his racetrack took the first sports bet in the state instead of a flagship Atlantic City casino such as Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

Regardless of who places the first bet, the partnership is advantageous for Gural because of geography, too.

His two tracks — one in East Rutherford, NJ, and one in Nichols, NY — sandwich Pennsylvania’s Mohegan Sun.

Should his two tracks launch sports betting before Mohegan Sun, he stands to gain a significant advantage over his Pennsylvania counterpart.

And They’re Off: Four New Jersey Online Casinos To Offer Virtual Sports Betting

PlaySugarHouse.com became the first real money online casino in NJ to offer virtual sports betting. Golden Nugget, Betfair and Resorts are slated to follow.

New Jersey is getting virtual sports betting before actual sports betting.

This past week, sports bettors had special reason to give thanks when NJ’s PlaySugarHouse online casino launched virtual sports betting on soccer and horse racing. Virtual sports bets will also be taken soon at Golden Nugget, Betfair, and Resorts. A press release is available here.

In an interview with Legal Sports Report, Leap Gaming CEO Yariv Lissauer said virtual sports is an excellent platform because it’s not tied down to a particular professional or racing season.

“It’s so realistic and entertaining, as well as being seen as a premium product with a fresh flow of content around the clock,” Lissauer said.

SugarHouse’s two sports — soccer and horse racing — function like EA-style video games. The graphics are clear and fluid and the announcing/color commentary is reminiscent of Madden or FIFA.

Virtual horse racing in New Jersey

The following demo of a horse race shows you how realistic the races are from post to finish line:

As you can see, you get a relatively realistic race experience with adequate — if not a bit stilted — announcing. Finishes are clearly shown from multiple angles. Race finishes are randomized.

Virtual soccer games online

In the demo we previewed, SugarHouse’s virtual soccer match featured Spain and Italy. Pre-game screens reveal starting lineups and the betting lines across a variety of books.

The game gets underway and is condensed into scoring opportunities and goals:

There are a variety of pre-game, score-based bets to be made including ties.

Multiple industry experts say that SugarHouse plans on releasing three more virtual sports betting platforms:

  • dog racing
  • motor racing
  • motorcycle racing

Virtual sports betting already a big deal in Europe

Virtual betting first made an appearance in Vegas via William Hill, which introduced two sites. William Hill’s US virtual sports betting has, at the time of publishing, grown to nine sites in Vegas.

Pala was second to introduce virtual sports but only on social sites (free play). This may be Pala’s test run for real-money sports betting, should it be legalized when SCOTUS renders its decision on the NJ case next spring. William Hill boss Joe Asher has been quoted as saying virtual sports betting fills an obvious void.

“We see virtual mainly as a filler product,” William Hill US CEO Joe Asher said. “There’s less live horse racing content available these days, so virtual racing fills the void, particularly on slower days when the major tracks aren’t running.”

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Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget is our favorite NJ online casino, and for good reason. It has more than 500 casino games (the most in New Jersey) and offers live dealer games. It also has great deposit options and an easy-to-use online and mobile interface.

How will legalized sports betting affect virtual sports betting in NJ?

With New Jersey just days away from oral arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States, many believe the state will win its sports betting case and PASPA will be repealed. Sports betting will most certainly explode in New Jersey; MGM International already announced it’s building a $7 million sports book in Atlantic City even though SCOTUS has yet to hear the case.

There’s a good chance that virtual sports won’t face a steep decline because, as pointed out by William Hill’s Asher, it provides gamblers sports betting all hours of the day in peak and off-peak seasons.