From the looks of it, the Hard Rock Atlantic City grand opening went off without a hitch. Company execs, local dignitaries, and even former employees took part in smashing guitars to celebrate the occasion. But lost in all the hubbub is the fact that the brick-and-mortar venue will soon be opening its own online casino as well.
That launch could come sooner than expected, as the casino’s iGaming software provider, Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), today received its license to operate in the state.
“We are delighted to now be going live with Hard Rock in New Jersey, a first step in our mutually ambitious plans to take market share in the regulated online gambling market in the U.S.,” said Robin Reed, CEO of Gaming Innovation Group, in a release.
Coming very soon
GIG has received a transactional waiver by the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), which certifies that the platform complies with the regulations of the department. Hard Rock’s online casino could technically begin taking bets immediately, but the company will likely first open the site in a limited capacity during a soft launch phase.
According to the GIG release, Hard Rock “will launch its online casino services later this month,” meaning players could potentially begin placing wagers at the site in the next few days.
New to the U.S.
Hard Rock’s partnership with GIG was announced back in February, and came as somewhat of a surprise, considering that the platform provider has never operated inside the U.S. This represents a gamble for Hard Rock, as the developer may need time to get its footing in the new environment.
A smooth rollout is critical in a saturated market like NJ, which already includes over a dozen online casino sites. We expect Hard Rock to hit the ground running, looking to grab market share with an aggressive slate of online promotions and innovative products. With the strong Hard Rock brand name at the forefront, it’s likely the site will bring in brand-new players and siphon off current gamblers from competitors. Whether or not they stick around will all depend on the quality of the GIG platform.
One thing we do know for certain is that Hard Rock online players will enjoy access to popular games from the NetEnt library. Hard Rock announced a partnership with the game-maker in April, which will provide slots like Divine Fortune, Starburst, Guns N’ Roses, Twin Spin, and many more.
More on GIG
GIG was founded in 2012, and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. The company is based in St. George’s Bay, Malta.
While it hasn’t yet opened up shop in the U.S., it has a large presence in Europe and beyond. The platform provider powers a number of high-traffic online casinos, including sites like SuperLenny, Rizk, Kaboo, and Thrills.
While GIG provides the capacity for clients to offer online slots, table games, and more, it also boasts a sports betting product. It’s unclear, though, if Hard Rock will use the supplier for its sports book operation, or settle on a more established partner for the vertical.
Hard Rock’s plans for sports betting are still unclear. When the fog of the casino grand opening dissipates, we will likely find out more.