When Ocean online casino first opened its doors to the NJ masses in early June — just days after Ocean Resort Casino cut the ribbon on its land-based casino in Atlantic City — it was our impression that the site would struggle against its more experienced competitors, all of which offered more games, better promotions, stronger payment processing, and … well, you get the point.
But give credit where credit is due. In the past three months, Ocean has added a tidal wave of new features to its online casino, culminating today in the addition of a much-anticipated Android app.
Is it up to speed with the best NJ online gambling sites? No. But the gap is closing rapidly.
Ocean goes mobile
Let it be known that going live on Android doesn’t give Ocean a leg up on the competition, as every single NJ online casino supports apps for both Android and iOS-powered devices. But it does level the playing field somewhat.
And for what it’s worth, Ocean’s app delivers, offering nearly 80 slots, a handful of video poker games, Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette. There are a few kinks to work out certainly, like the Divine Fortune jackpot showing as over $500,000 from the game lobby (we wish), when it’s actually only about $26.5k, and the occasional failure by geolocation services to recognize a player gambling from within New Jersey, but overall it’s about as polished as one might expect from a product powered by GAN.
Worth noting is that Ocean still does not offer an iOS app, but that one is coming soon. Historically, it’s been pretty common for the launch of iOS-powered casino and sports betting apps to trail behind the debut of their Android counterparts by a few days or weeks, a good recent example being the William Hill NJ sports betting app, which went live on Android first before debuting on iOS in late September.
An awesome wave of promos
Ocean online casino has done the promotional gods proud, now offering a bevy of recurrent and one-off offers. Not a single one of these offers are pushovers, adding tons of player value to what is already a site that offers gamblers better odds than they’ll find at brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City.
Most notable is that Ocean frequently offers reload bonuses. On its own, that’s not a monumental deal, as most NJ online casinos dip their toes in this particular pool, but what differentiates Ocean’s offers is the monetary cap, which commonly reaches over $1,000. For instance, its latest Columbus Day Deposit Bonus is a 50% bonus match on deposits up to $2,500, for a bonus cap of $1,250. That monetary amount rings closer to what players might find for a welcome bonus than a reload.
Granted, there are a couple drawbacks to Ocean’s reload offers, most of which are embedded in the dreaded fine print. For one, players have to meet a steep 20x wagering requirement on slots, or 40x on roulette, or 200x on table games and video poker. What’s more is that they only have four days to clear the bonus. So, if someone claimed the full $1,250 bonus, they’d have to wager $250k on blackjack to access their funds. That’s a big ask in four calendar days.
Slot players have it better, as a 20x wagering requirement works out to a 5% cashback deal, and plenty of the site’s slots offer a house edge of less than 5%.
Other notable promotions include a weekly leaderboard in which the players who wager the most real-money on a slot (preselected by Ocean each week), will divvy up a $2,000 bonus prize fund. This bonus is more generous, only possessing a 10x wagering requirement, and granting players a full week to clear their bonus.
There’s also the Fortuna Wheel, which doles out a free spin to players every four hours. This gimmick is nothing new, as multiple sites offer some sort of daily free pull on a slot or spin on a wheel, but the difference is the Fortuna Wheel does actually pay out pretty often. So far, it has awarded over $250,000.
Finally, NJ Online Gambling has learned that it won’t be long before Ocean online casino has a bonafide VIP Club, and that online and land-based play at Ocean Resort AC will be intimately connected, retroactively to when Ocean’s online casino launched.
Games, games, games
If there was one area where Ocean was truly deficient at launch, it was in its game selection. We’re talking about 70 games total, compared to other sites that offer 300, 400, or even 500 plus. Betfair Casino, also powered by GAN, spreads over 350 games, so we knew the potential for Ocean to grow its game lobby was there. And again, it delivered.
As last check-in, Ocean increased its game tally to nearly 130 (mostly slots), but more importantly, it amped up the overall quality of its lobby, integrating games from top providers NetEnt and Konami.
Making a splash, but not a wave
There’s still plenty of work to be done, if Ocean one day hopes to contend with the bigwigs of the NJ online casino industry. We know that an iOS app and a VIP Club is coming, so there’s that, but that still leaves players wanting for Live Dealer games, games from other top slot manufacturers, and of course, an integrated online sportsbook.
Given the site’s upward trajectory over the past couple of months, we suspect it’ll fulfill all these wants and then some.