The launch of Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City may still be several months away, but that hasn’t prevented the operator’s online gambling division from forging powerful alliances.
In February, Hard Rock solidified a customer agreement with Gaming Innovation Group to supply its platform online casino platform. This was followed just last week with an announcement that the operator has signed on one of the industry’s top slots manufacturers, NetEnt.
NetEnt a known quantity in New Jersey
NetEnt may not exactly be a household name, but anyone who has spent significant time on a NJ online casino site has probably heard of the brand, if not played its games.
Fact is NetEnt games are everywhere, with the industry’s larger iGaming brands featuring upwards of 60 titles from the provider. Even longtime holdouts like 888 Casino have recently added NetEnt games to their game library.
Given this, it doesn’t really shock that Hard Rock would take on the provider to help fill up its lobby. Far more surprising was the strategic partnership with GiG, which will be making its debut in the NJ market, some four-and-a-half years after the first sites went live.
Hard Rock International SVP of Online Gaming Kresimir Spajic had these flattering words about NetEnt:
“We are delighted to partner with NetEnt, known for its innovative and forward-thinking gaming solutions. NetEnt’s market-leading game titles and digital casino expertise will help us drive online casino growth with our own iconic Hard Rock brand.”
A plus for players
Those waiting in anxious anticipation of Hard Rock’s online gambling product should be delighted by the recent turn of events. Reason being, NetEnt boasts some of the most alluring games on the market, many of which offer above average returns.
A snapshot of NetEnt games reveals that players can expect returns hovering between 96 – 98% for most NetEnt games. For perspective, there are plenty of video poker and table games found on Atlantic City floors that don’t offer odds this favorable.
Beyond that, NetEnt games are generally well-designed, featuring crisp graphics, compelling bonus games and massive jackpot payouts (Divine Fortune is one of its most popular NJ products). The games themselves span a multitude of popular themes, including vampires, westerns, warlords, and yes even emojis.
In terms of sheer volume, only NextGen and IGT appear to supply a greater swatch of games to gambling sites in New Jersey.
Expect some, if not all, of these NetEnt titles to be featured on Hard Rock online casino:
- Twin Spin
- Planet of the Apes
- Guns N’ Roses
- Divine Fortune
- Dead of Alive
- Roulette Advanced
A big year for NJ online gambling
The NJ market has broken revenue records in both January and February this year, despite the lack of any new formats of sites.
March is shaping up to be another potential record breaker, as a late rush of snow sequestered players inside for a good part of the month, and PartyCasino launched a standalone casino platform.
The addition of Hard Rock Online and an online casino product from Ocean Resort Casino (partnered with GAN) this summer should also bolster the market further, as New Jersey players clearly have an appetite for more iGaming sites.
We expect Hard Rock to be the better performer of the two, as it possesses stronger brand recognition and a staunch desire to become a major player in the market. Ultimately, the strength of its rollout could make the difference between NJ iGaming reaching $1 billion in revenue by the end of 2018, or coming up just short.