The Borgata is in many ways the leader of New Jersey’s land-based casino industry. So the casino’s plans for the regulated online gambling industry in NJ are a thing of no small interest to consumers and competitors alike.
Keith E. Smith - Chief Executive Officer, President and Director of Borgata co-owner Boyd Gaming – provided an interesting window into those plans during the company’s Q3 earnings call.
The entire transcript is available here.
While bwin.party will provide the technological backbone for The Borgata’s online casino and online poker room, Smith made it clear that his company wouldn’t be limited to bwin/party’s content library.
“As we’ve prepared for the launch of real money online gaming at Borgata, our efforts are now focused on 3 priorities,” Smith said. “First, the integration of compelling third-party content and/or product. In addition to games provided by bwin.party, we will also win titles from a number of major slot manufacturers.”
Smith did not mention any specific suppliers. A complete list of slot titles currently available at The Borgata in Atlantic City can be found here.
While Smith focused on the variety of casino games The Borgata will offer online, he was also quick to cite poker as a key differentiator for Borgata’s online product at large.
When asked by an analyst how Boyd planned to capture online market share in New Jersey, Smith responded:
Well, without going into too much detail, providing a roadmap for our competitors, I think that the Borgata brand, which we have worked very hard to position over the last 10 years, is a leading brand in the market. We think that will provide us a great opportunity to gain a significant amount of market share. Once again, Borgata land-based poker, currently, I think occupies more than 50% of the market in Atlantic City. That’s a great starting point.
During the call, Smith revealed an interesting regulatory tidbit that – to the best of my knowledge – hadn’t been publicly articulated before: each Internet Gaming Permit is good for up to five distinct sites.
Shaun C Kelly of Merrill Lynch raised the issue with Smith, asking “our latest understanding, at least, is that you can get up to I think 5, I guess, websites underneath each gaming license. Is that your interpretation as well?”
Smith replied: “That’s our current understanding of what the DGE has ruled on.”
It’s not clear if that limit applies to actual URLs or rather to distinct individual brands.
The Borgata apparently intends to take full advantage of that threshold, with Smith referencing plans to introduce not only Borgata and bwin.party online properties, but additional brands as well.
“I think that we would expect that when we launch that business, that there will be multiple websites, multiple brands being launched,” Smith said.
“There will be a Borgata brand. We’d expect a bwin brand to launch at about the same time we launch, and there could be others that we choose to launch at the same time.”