At the heart of every online gambling operation is a software platform – a suite of tools that allows companies to run the complex technical tasks needed to offer safe and fair games to their customers. For the player, a software platform handles functions like account creation and account management, deposits and withdrawals, loyalty programs, and more. For operators, they provide the backend systems needed to manage users and customer support issues, run promotions, and analyze customer data, amongst many other things.
Some software studios create their own games, while others simply provide the backbone crucial to running an iGaming business. While the makers of specific NJ platforms might offer some of their own exclusive titles, all online casinos in New Jersey feature a mix of games from a variety of software developers. In the Garden State, you’ll find titles from renowned studios like NetEnt, IGT, Aristocrat, Scientific Games and many more, running on several different NJ platforms. Below, we’ll break down all of the platforms in use by New Jersey’s casino sites and take a look at what they have to offer.
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NJ Software Platforms
There are currently nine software platforms being used by NJ online casinos, some of which power several different brands at once. In the table below, we’ve laid out each casino and its software of choice:
|ONLINE CASINO||PLATFORM||AC PARTNER|
|Harrah's Casino||Dragonfish (888)||Caesars Interactive|
|WSOP (poker)||Dragonfish (888)||Caesars Interactive|
|888 Casino||Dragonfish (888)||Caesars Interactive|
|888 Poker||Dragonfish (888)||Caesars Interactive|
|Betfair Casino||GAN||Golden Nugget AC|
|Ocean Casino||GAN||Ocean Resort|
|Parx Casino||GAN||Ocean Resort|
|Hard Rock Casino||GIG||Hard Rock AC|
|Party Poker NJ||GVC||Borgata|
|Pala Casino||Pala Interactive||Borgata|
|Scores Casino||Pala Interactive||Borgata|
|PokerStars NJ (poker)||PokerStars||Resorts|
|PokerStars NJ (casino)||PokerStars||Resorts|
|SugarHouse Casino||Rush Street Interactive||Golden Nugget AC|
|BetAmerica Casino||SBTech||Golden Nugget AC|
|Golden Nugget Casino||SG Digital OpenBet||Golden Nugget AC|
|Caesars Casino||SG Digital OpenBet||Caesars Interactive|
|Mohegan Sun Casino||SG Digital OpenBet||Resorts|
|Resorts Casino||SG Digital OpenBet||Resorts|
The Dragonfish platform was created by an independent B2B division of 888 and powers the company’s own branded NJ online poker and casino sites, along with Harrah’s Casino and WSOP.com.
888, which also operates an international online poker room and casino, was founded in 1997 and has continuously fine-tuned its software for two decades. Dragonfish is the culmination of that effort and provides operators with a robust and powerful suite of tools capable of taking on nearly any iGaming challenge. Also included in its platform are dozens of exclusive games developed by the company’s 888 games division.
888 began to lay the groundwork to potentially dominate the US online poker industry after the game was legalized in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey. Initially, poker players in those jurisdictions were only allowed to play against competitors inside their own state. Later on, however, 888 sites in Nevada and Delaware were allowed to connect player pools. In 2018, New Jersey joined the party, sharing liquidity with 888-branded sites in NV and DE as well. Traffic spiked overnight and propelled the 888 and WSOP.com poker sites ahead of previous market-leader PokerStars.
Pennsylvania is still awaiting the launch of WSOP.COM via a deal with Harrahs Philadelphia, but would not immediately join the interstate compact as it would take PGCB approval. The good news is, as the law stands now, it would not need any extra legislation to move forward. Other states that could join the NJ/NV/DE compact include West Virginia and Michigan.
Borgata, BetMGM, PartyCasino, and PartyPoker’s casino and poker sites run a platform developed by bwin.party, now owned by GVC Holdings. Partypoker launched back in 2001 and was at one point the biggest online poker operator in the world. The company runs an international online poker site and casino alongside its ring-fenced, New Jersey-only offering. Despite PartyPoker, Borgata, and BetMGM having their own downloadable clients, all player pools are share for online poker tournaments and cash games.
Players must download a special software client in order to play on the partypoker NJ poker network, but can play casino games directly through their browser. The platform added several exclusive titles in 2019 including table games, slots, and several jackpot slots. The Borgata Blackjack pro offers up to five hands per deal and several side bets, while the Borgata Roulette Pro brings all the excitement of Borgatas famous roulette tables direct to your living room.
Kambi is a B2B provider who mostly concentrates on sports betting services to licensed gaming operators. Kambi has helped many online sportsbooks build their books from the ground up, giving them the tools they need including front end-user experience, customer verifications, risk management, and providing odds for almost every sport in the world. Kambi employs over 500 people worldwide and has deals in place with 13+ online sportsbook companies.
In New Jersey, you will find Kambi powering some of the biggest books in the state including DraftKings (for now) SugarHouse and Unibet. Although most Kambi powered sites will look similar, Kambi gives online books the power to customize their options such as live betting, bonuses, and other promotional offerings. You will often find Kambi books combined with GAN for an even better betting experience.
Pala Interactive is owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians, a federally recognized tribe which also operates the Pala Casino Spa and Resort in Pala, California. The interactive branch of the company was created in 2013 in anticipation of legal online gambling in the US, and built its platform completely in-house. The software includes a number of games developed internally, as well as a full complement of slots, table games and video poker machines, produced by a variety of providers. The company also boasts of an “industry-leading” fraud detection system built into the platform. Scores Casino, a skin of Pala, uses the proprietary software as well.
Pala’s online poker did not have the success they had hoped for in New Jersey, where most tournaments were canceled and cash games struggled to have any traffic at all. Pala hopes to one day deploy its proprietary software in their home state of California, if that state votes to regulate the industry, but California may be years away from ever offering online gaming. Pala Casino games can be played directly within a web browser, with no software download necessary. The company also offers mobile casino apps, available on iOS and Android devices.
Virgin and Tropicana Casino rely on the GameSys platform, a well-known and award-winning software company in the UK who owns an 11% share of the UK market mostly due to their mass-market and bingo-led gaming options. GameSys has grown year after year in markets such as Spain, Brazil, Germany, and Japan. GameSys has stated that it has its eyes on other Emerging US markets as states begin to adopt online gaming such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia.
The firm’s designers have created several of their own slots and games, including the popular jackpot slots Wonderland and Deal or No Deal. GameSys announced in January 2020 that they entered into a deal with Spin Games to bring their exclusive titles such as Crazy Money 2, Ripleys Believe It or Not, and NBA Last 60 that is a virtual sports betting game. In addition, Virgin/Tropicana offers dozens of slots and casino games from a variety of providers accessible within your favorite web browser, iOS or Android devices.
Rush Street Interactive
Rush Street Interactive (RSI) is an affiliate of Rush Street Gaming, a company which owns and operates several brick-and-mortar casinos in the Northeast US. SugarHouse Casino is powered by RSI software and was built from the ground up by online gaming veterans with feedback from New Jersey gamblers. Rush Street has gone live in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Indiana, and Illinois under their BetRivers brand and Play SugarHouse in Pennsylvania.
The platform offers a handful of exclusive games, along with tried-and-true player favorites. In March 2017, Rush Street announced a partnership with NYX Gaming Group (now SG Digital), which allows it to tap into that company’s OpenBet platform to access SG Digital’s extensive content library. On SugarHouse Casino, players have the choice of gambling directly through their web browser or on iOS and Android mobile devices.
Thanks to the solid, homegrown RSI platform, SugarHouse has enjoyed surprising success in New Jersey, even after entering late into the saturated market. Rush Street software includes unique features like advanced filtering, and creates a community feel with a real-time feed of casino winners. The site also boasts an innovative and engaging loyalty program, which keeps players coming back for more.
GameAccount Network (GAN) was founded in 2002 and quickly built up its presence and reputation in the online gambling industry. The company, which offers a turnkey software solution for iGaming operators, got its start in New Jersey in November 2013, serving as the backbone for Betfair Casino. With GAN’s help, Betfair has since become one of the state’s top-earning online gaming sites. GAN also powers the top online sportsbook in New Jersey, FanDuel, who has taken over the top spot in every market it has entered including Pennsylvania, Indiana, and West Virginia.
Five years later, it expanded its footprint after striking a deal to power Ocean Resort’s online casino and added Parx Online Casino in 2019. Outside of the US market, the company boasts customers in the UK, Italy and Spain.
Gamblers can play hundreds of casino games through GAN software using their browser of choice, or via mobile devices. Betfair, for instance, offers a large number of exclusive titles and games like Hi-Lo Solitaire, which aren’t available on most platforms. In addition to exclusive video poker, GAN provides its customers with several slot and table game exclusives as an added benefit.
Golden Nugget, Resorts, Caesars and Mohegan Sun Casino are all powered by the SG Digital (SGD) OpenBet platform. Included in SGD’s offering are dozens of games from third-party developers, like NetEnt, as well as games developed in-house by one of SGD’s nine creative studios. Some more popular titles include Foxin’ Twins and Medusa Megaways. Of all of our testing, SG digital is one of the smoothest running software programs in the industry, rarely crashes, and tends to be very player-friendly.
SG Digital (formerly NYX Gaming and SG Interactive) provides software to over 200 industry clients around the globe, employs over 1,500 people in 34 offices and boasts 40 licenses worldwide including seven offices in North America. The four NJ online casinos running OpenBet have the largest game libraries available in the state. Players can access them through their web browser or on iOS/Android devices. SG Digital is expanding its footprint outside of New Jersey in the US market via a deal with BetFred to power online gaming sites in Colorado and Pennsylvania.
PokerStars launched in 2001 and is the maker of what many consider to be the best online poker software on the market. In New Jersey, its poker platform is head and shoulders above any of its competitors and likely to stay that way. PokerStars’ mobile experience, which sports a beautiful UI and a well thought out UX, is similarly impressive. In order to play online poker or online casino games on PokerStars NJ, players must download either the site’s desktop client, or the iOS or Android app.
Poker was initially the clear focus of PokerStars when they first launched in New Jersey, but have since expanded their online casino library to include many exclusive titles and a huge selection of slots and video poker. PokerStars also struck a landmark deal with FOX Sports to bring you an even better online sports betting experience via FOX Bet. FOX Bet combines the online gambling experience of The Stars Group with the marketing and sports knowledge of FOX Sports.
FOX Bet has gone live in Pennsylvania and Colorado in addition to New Jersey, while PokerStars online poker and casino has gone live in Pennsylvania. FOX Bet and PokerStars won’t stop there, as they have their eyes on an Indiana, Iowa and Michigan launch as soon as they are approved.
Gaming Innovation Group
Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) was a latecomer to NJ online gambling, making its debut in the state as the platform for Hard Rock AC’s online casino, which launched in June 2018. GiG offers a one-stop shop for online gaming companies as they offer front end development, payment processing, and compliance standards such as age verification, screening, game and more. GiG has the ability to build an online gaming site from the ground up for clients.
Based in Malta, GIG was founded in 2012 and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. While Hard Rock is the company’s first foray into US iGaming, GIG is well-established across Europe and beyond, offering its services to online casino brands like Superlenny, Guts, Rizk, HighRoller and Betspin.
The company platform allows clients to offer online slots, table games, and even sports betting. It also boasts its own game development studio and offers peripheral services like data-driven marketing and traffic optimization. While GiG is a turnkey software provider, they have failed to secure many partnerships outside of Hard Rock in New Jersey and throughout the US as more states begin to legalize and regulate online gambling.
SBTech is most well known for its award-winning sports betting product who also offers online casino and virtual sports through its proprietary program Chameleon360. SBTech offers services like analytics, chat support, and is a gateway of sorts that allows payment processors and gaming developers to safely do their job.
SBTech has over 2300 employees covering over 20 markets and 13+ offices worldwide. In New Jersey, SBTech powers BetAmerica(for now) and were acquired by DraftKings although DraftKings has yet to adopt their software just yet. This is in part due to a cyber-attack in April 2020 that left SBTech powered sites down for nearly a month in the US.
SBTech is live in Pennsylvania under the same BetAmerica brand via a deal with Churchill Downs Incorporated and powers both the online and retail sports betting of Presque Isle Downs Casino in Erie, Pennsylvania.
The legal and regulated nature of the New Jersey online gambling market allows its online casinos to choose from a variety of top-notch, global software providers. These companies are not limited to working with a single brand, however, with some powering several of the state’s online casinos at once. While choosing your favorite software is a matter of taste, you may start to see that some may perform better than others. Gaming software providers are constantly working to improve their software for a competitive New Jersey market as well as emerging markets throughout the country.