After years of letting its online casino in New Jersey stagnate, 888 Casino is suddenly firing on all cylinders.
The change in direction began late last year when it finally launched a much anticipated Android mobile app. This was followed in relatively short order with a massive expansion to its then paltry game library, with nearly 50 games added from NYX Gaming and SG Interactive, as well as proprietary games.
If that weren’t enough, the operator launched an offline marketing campaign in February, spanning prime time TV, local radio, and press. The campaign is still live and is slated to run until mid-March.
Finally, today 888 Casino embraced one of New Jersey’s most darling online slot manufacturers, NetEnt, adding a whopping 43 games from the popular provider.
New game selection plays it safe
Instead of taking shots on exclusive or lesser known titles, 888’s new games are tried and true staples of the NJ online gambling industry.
Notable new slot titles include:
- Guns N’ Roses
- Jack Hammer
- Planet of the Apes
- Emoji Planet
- Joker Pro
If there’s one common thread among the new slots, it’s that they offer a significantly better return-to-player relative to the what’s presently on the site. Generally speaking, NetEnt games return between 96.5% – 98% — an exceptional rate on par with some video poker and table games.
In addition to 41 slots, 888 has added two table games. The first, American Roulette, looks sleek and sophisticated but can only be recommended to super low-rollers due to the high house edge (5.26%). Instead, players are encouraged to play the site’s European and French Roulette titles, which require a minimum wager of $5 (vs. $1 for other roulette games) but possess a house edge of 2.7% or less.
The new six-deck blackjack game is better, with favorable rules and smooth play. Players may want to turn the elevator music off however, as it can precipitate an existential crisis during a losing streak. The house edge on this title is a scant 0.41%, players can wager on three hands at once, and the minimum wager is just$1.
Unfortunately, no new video poker titles were added, leaving 888 completely deficient in this area. The operator would presumably will have to partner with a big video poker provider like IGT or Spin Games before we see a significant rollout.
The new titles are also available on 888’s Android and iOS mobile platforms.
Harrah’s Casino in NJ also utilizes 888’s casino platform. It follows that whenever 888 Casino receives a fresh coat of paint, Harrah’s does as well. All 43 of the new titles will be immediately available on both sites.
In total, the duo now feature 150 games. While this a mammoth improvement over the 50 or so it supported as late as mid-2017, it’s still a far cry from what the biggest libraries support. However, an alignment with NYX and NetEnt opens numerous doors, as both supply dozens (if not hundreds) of games to NJ online casino sites.
Presumably, 888 will be adding more and more games from these suppliers as time goes on, eventually elevating its game library to 300+ titles.
Initially, the fact that 888 held back a full four years before pushing its online casino product in NJ comes off as odd, and perhaps even lazy. There does appear to be a method behind the madness, however.
Notice that the push came after three critical events in the US regulated iGaming market came to pass:
- New Jersey agreed to share online poker liquidity with Nevada and Delaware
- Pennsylvania legalized online gambling
- The Supreme Court held oral arguments in Murphy v. NCAA (formerly Christie v. NCAA), a case to debate the constitutionality of the federal ban on sports betting (PASPA).
After years of relatively no movement, the US is suddenly ripe fruit. It’s plausible that the industry’s newfound momentum is the driving force behind 888’s renewed efforts stateside.
Whatever the reason, there’s plenty of new products for players that frequent 888 Casino and Harrah’s Casino to enjoy.