Fresh off the news that the fledgling online-gaming market in New Jersey hasn’t been bringing in as much revenue as predicted, Gamesys and the Virgin Group will add another player in the already crowded online gambling market. And could Wynn Resorts be next?
Virgincasino.com, one of 15 gambling websites approved last fall by New Jersey regulators, was due to begin accepting bets late last week.
Despite being approved to launch in November and having an active website describing games and promotions, company officials said they chose to delay the site’s real-money launch to work out some of the technical glitches which have slowed online gaming’s rollout in the state.
Sites that launched in November have been plagued by login and geolocation problems, payment issues and software glitches. Gamesys—which is partnered with Atlantic City’s Tropicana Casino Resort to offer online gaming in New Jersey—says it wanted to work out the problems before going live. Gamesys also operates Tropicanacasino.com in New Jersey.
“We’ve been rehearsing this moment for several years in the UK, including dealing with players who have bet more than $4.3 billion on Gamesys games in 2012,” Lee Fenton, chief operating officer of Gamesys told the Associated Press.
The site features more than casino 30 games such as slots, table games and video poker. The site does not offer online poker.
New Jersey’s Internet gambling sites have taken in $8.4 million between the Nov. 21 launch and the end of 2013. That figure has been below expectations. Analysts had expected the state to take in $200 million to $500 million this year in online gambling revenue.
But some analysts point to the technical problems and sporadic marketing as causes for the slow start.
The state has seen a large amount of player accounts opened as more than 155,374 accounts have been opened at the state’s online sites. The number does not necessarily reflect the number of total players online, as many have opened accounts at multiple sites.
Meanwhile, casino mogul Steve Wynn could be back in business in New Jersey—at least as an online presence—as Wynn Interactive has petitioned state regulators for a transactional waiver to begin online gaming. The petition was made with its partners the All American Poker Network and Caesars Interactive Entertainment.
If approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, a site could be launched quickly after a five-day test period. Transactional waivers are being issued while full applications are under review.
Wynn Interactive, however, was notably absent when the first transactional waivers were issued in November. Online gaming launched in the state November 26.
Seth Palansky, a spokesman for Caesars Interactive, told the Press of Atlantic City that the existing plan calls for Caesars to host Wynn’s servers in Atlantic City.
“It’s known that we’re giving Wynn Interactive the ability to use our license in New Jersey,” Palansky said. “Obviously, we don’t own our own software, and it gives them the ability to open in New Jersey.”
Palansky could not say when Wynn Interactive might launch a site.
Wynn Interactive officials have not commented.