On Wednesday, MGM Resorts International announced its plans to launch an online casino and poker room in the state of New Jersey by the end of 2017. The deal stems from a new agreement they have with GVC Holdings and the online platform will operate under the playMGM brand. MGM Resorts International also owns Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, but appears to be making the shift to the budding online gaming industry.
All online gambling sites operated in the state of New Jersey must be run by companies who own existing casinos in Atlantic City, such as the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. The partnership between MGM and GVC should come as no surprise considering GVC has powered the software for Borgata’s online casino since 2013. When online gaming first went live in the state of New Jersey MGM only owned 50 percent stake in Borgata. It wasn’t until August that MGM took 100 percent control of that casino.
Although the Borgata already offers an online casino, this announcement marks the first involvement from MGM in the online gambling industry in the state of New Jersey. The proposed online casino will offer real-money online gaming, as opposed to Bitcoin or another form of online currency. At launch, the online casino is expected to include over 300 different casino games. This includes slots and table games, as well as tournament and cash-game poker. The platform is expected to link their MGM rewards account, so players can have access and earn rewards points as they play.
MGM and its Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa join a number of other Atlantic City casinos that have taken advantage of a lucrative market. Caesar Interactive, the Goldent Nugget, Resorts Casino Hotel, and the Tropicana Casino and Resort all operate online casinos within the state. Online gambling was first legalized in New Jersey in November of 2013, and like other online markets has taken off in recent years. Early reports showed that in March of 2017 New Jersey online casinos saw a 40-percent year over year increase in revenue, bringing more than $21.7 million. At the launch of online gaming in 2013, Borgata had a slight edge over the competition, but the Golden Nugget has since claimed the top spot, with Borgata falling to the wayside. With the introduction of the new online casino MGM hopes to see Borgata reclaim the top spot.
GVC Chief Operating Office Shay Segev expressed the company’s excitement earlier this week in regards to working with MGM on the new online casino, “We are delighted to extend our relationship with MGM Resorts and to be launching casino and poker under the playMGM brand in New Jersey. MGM Resorts is quite simply one of the ibbest and best names in the business, and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
As of now MGM has not announced an official launch date for the online casino.