Newcomer BetAmerica isn’t content to limit itself to just sports betting revenue, launching an online casino in parallel with its New Jersey-based online sportsbook.
This follows a growing trend among state operators, many of which have embraced a multi-channel approach as part of their New Jersey strategy; a wise decision given the continued growth of the iGaming industry.
But can a brand that’s more known for online horse wagering than online casinos and sports booking really make a dent in what has become a heavily saturated market? It’s certainly not unheard of, but will depend heavily on the overall product.
So how does the BetAmerica product stack up? Let’s take a quick look to familiarize ourselves with one of the newest entries to the NJ online gambling landscape.
Background and pedigree
BetAmerica is not a totally new name, though knowledge of the company has been limited to a different niche of gamblers. The company has until recently been known as an “advance deposit wagering” service, allowing online betting on horse and/or greyhound racing.
Last summer parent company Churchill Downs Incorporated decided to leverage the brand for its two new retail sportsbooks at Mississippi casinos, both powered by software from SBTech.
In January, Churchill Downs expanded on its relationship with SBTech, launching a new online sportsbook and casino in New Jersey on the Golden Nugget license.
What does BetAmerica have to offer online casino gamblers?
As New Jersey is fairly packed with established online casinos already, as well as a fair amount of online sportsbooks now, BetAmerica appears to be easing into the market somewhat conservatively.
The initial game selection is rather small, though surprisingly good in specific areas. A solid selection of Konami and IGT options are available, but in total the site has started out with only 89 games, 77 of which are slots.
This means BetAmerica has surpassed PokerStars as the smallest library of games of any operator in NJ. Not counting, of course, DraftKings Sportsbook‘s selection of 15 games on its mobile app, which despite the lack of diversity, has already helped to bolster the operator’s New Jersey revenue significantly.
Still, while the library is lacking in slot diversity, as well as in table games (two blackjack and two roulette games), the site has an unexpectedly superior video poker selection, with six standard Game King options, including three- and five-play, and high limit versions of multi-line games and single line Double Double Bonus. The only glaring omission from the site’s single line video poker collection is Game King’s Deuces Wild poker game, which is oddly rare online.
Additionally, BetAmerica has done quite well with its assortment of 11 jackpot slots, although for some of these titles, the “jackpot” distinction is rather dubious, as the games feature static jackpots and not progressives.
BetAmerica offers the MegaJackpots versions of Cleopatra and Siberian Storm and the unconventional Gong Xi Fa Cai and new favorite One Red Cent. These are four of the more popular slots in the state. The biggest omission from the jackpot slot collection is Divine Fortune by NetEnt. BetAmerica does not yet offer any NetEnt games, but we suspect they’re coming soon, as NetEnt has penned an agreement with Churchill specifically for the regulated NJ online casino market.
The only major category absent is Live Dealer games, but given the Golden Nugget connection (Golden Nugget houses a Live Dealer studio in Atlantic City), these may also prove to be a soon addition if the casino side of the site starts gaining any traction whatsoever.
This unconventional initial library, though very small, positions BetAmerica as a sportsbook very friendly to casino gamblers that are laser-focused on a preference for either jackpot slots or video poker.
How good an idea is this?
From the perspective of Churchill Downs, the launch of what at first glance appears to be a weak casino may actually be incredibly smart.
Adding casino games gives a potentially otherwise dismissible new sportsbook a small unique extra perk. It can easily give selective sports gamblers with a little extra left in their account balance something to dowhile waiting for the ideal moment to place the real bet they came to the site for.
From the opposite perspective it removes the disadvantage of not being a casino, placing it on more equal footing with some of the industry’s heavy hitters.
It also gives Churchill Downs some much-needed experience running a casino site ahead of the launch of the Presque Isle online casino in neighboring Pennsylvania.
Still, it would have been wasteful to try to launch with a much more ambitious library, since they cannot hope to compete on that level as neophytes. The market leader in selection, Golden Nugget, currently offers over 500 games (take note that this week Golden Nugget itself launched its sportsbook option, uncoincidentally also powered by SBTech).
As a result this limited-but-selective experiment by BetAmerica has the potential to be a success, but is also small enough to write off as a minor failure if nothing comes of it.
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