Mohegan Sun NJ Online Casino Launches

Mohegan Sun Rises (Virtually) On Atlantic City Boardwalk

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Mohegan Sun has become the latest entity to launch a real-money online casino in New Jersey.

Branded as, the site is the second to make use of Resorts Internet gaming permit.

Resorts launched a self-branded online casino in February. Both sites utilize the same platform, powered by NYX Gaming.

Mohegan Sun’s iCasino is currently in a soft-launch phase, which is scheduled to continue until at least Wednesday. The site will go official once approved by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Mohegan joins saturated, yet promising, New Jersey online casino market

There is certainly reason to believe that Mohegan Sun can carve out a sizable niche in New Jersey:

  • The online casino industry is enjoying strong levels of growth. In June 2015, the Garden State’s iCasino arm booked just over $9.8 million, up 31.8% from the previous year.
  • The last online casino to enter the market – which happens to be Resorts Casino – has incrementally increased its market share in every month since launch, currently owning just over 4%.
  • Mohegan Sun is among the east coast’s most recognizable and respected casino brands. In fiscal 2014, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority‘s casino properties in Connecticut and Pennsylvania won $1.29 billion, or about $240 million more than Atlantic City’s two most popular destinations.
  • As the managers of Resorts AC, the Mohegan have expressed a strong willingness to integrate land-based and online, evidenced by the recent launch of a digital iGaming lounge at Resorts.
  • It’s likely that Resorts will place even more emphasis on its online properties once PokerStars enters the equation.

But there are a few challenges to overcome as well:

  • Mohegan Sun will become the thirteenth online casino in a market that is growing steadily, but may soon reach maturity.
  • Another recent entrant into the market, Pala Interactive, has yet to make much of a dent.
  • Given that the Borgata / Party, Caesars, Tropicana / Virgin and Golden Nugget / Betfair all own significant market share, breaking into the top four is going to be an uphill battle.

All things considered, Mohegan Sun should generate somewhere in the vicinity of $500k – $800k in monthly revenue by the close of 2015.

Whether the final figure sits on the bull or bear end of that scale will depend largely on Mohegan’s initial marketing push and the site’s relative promotional value (more on that below).

Poker not part of the equation

There are currently no plans for Mohegan Sun to launch an online poker product in New Jersey.

Instead, it appears that PokerStars will be the sole platform offering online poker under Resorts’ IGP.

As per statements made by Amaya CEO David Baazov in a 1Q15 earning call, PokerStars is on track to launch in New Jersey sometime this quarter.

It’s unclear if Resorts and Mohegan will eventually launch skins to the PokerStars offering or exactly how the properties will interact online.

What does Mohegan’s entry suggest for regulated online gaming in Connecticut?

The Mohegan have aligned with state legislators, union leaders and fellow Connecticut gaming tribe, the Pequots, to lobby for expanded gambling within the state.

While the bulk of their efforts thus far have been been focused on brick and mortar expansion, online gambling may factor into the conversation, especially if Mohegan’s New Jersey online casino draws increased foot traffic to Resorts’ land-based property.

In this respect, it’s conceivable that Mohegan views the New Jersey market as little more than a proof of concept for a Connecticut operation.

Mohegan launches with strong promotional offering

In terms of potential value, Mohegan’s welcome bonus (100% up to $1,000 match on first deposit) is tied for highest among New Jersey sites, with only PartyPoker and Betfair also awarding four-figure sums.

Yet, whereas PartyPoker and Betfair affix rather lofty wagering requirements to their welcome packages, Mohegan Sun sets the bar rather low – low enough that, dare I say it, even the casual gambler has a chance of acquiring house money.

In addition, it appears that VIP club points earned on the site can be utilized at Mohegan Sun’s Connecticut and Pennsylvania properties, as well as Resorts AC.

- Robert DellaFave is a game designer and avid poker player. He writes for several publications centered on legal US online poker and the regulated online gambling industries in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
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