MGM Launches NJ Online Casino
Online Poker Report

MGM Launches The First Online Casino Ever To Carry Its Name In New Jersey

MGM Resorts International launched its New Jersey online casino on August 1, 2017, the first time the iconic gaming company has lent its name to an iGaming site.

Below you’ll find more background on MGM’s launch, the software behind the site, how to create an account, and the games on offer at MGM NJ online casino.

Competing sites in New Jersey’s online casino market

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MGM NJ online casino: Latest news and updates, week of Oct. 16

As it turns out, MGM isn’t bringing the news when it comes to its new NJ online casino arm, playMGM. No new games this week, and ditto for new online gambling deals in New Jersey.

MGM’s online casino: The basics

What license does MGM operate on?

MGM is the owner of the Borgata in Atlantic City. The playMGM online casino operates under the Internet Gaming Permit (IGP) of the Borgata, along with the Borgata online casino, Party Casino, and Pala Casino.

Who can play at playMGM online?

You must be 21 or over and located in the state of New Jersey in order to play for real money at the playMGM online casino. You do not need to be a resident of NJ to play – you simply need to be located in the state at the time of play. You can sign up from any state and manage your account while outside of the state as well.

How do I create an account at playMGM NJ?

In order to create an account and play, you’ll need to:

  • Sign up at PlayMGM
  • Verify your identity
  • Fund your account (more on that below)

MGM’s online casino platform and games

What software does playMGM casino use?

The playMGM online casino is based on the GVC platform, which is the same platform utilized by Borgata’s online casino. If you’re familiar with either Borgata’s online casino or Party’s online casino, then you’ll recognize many of the same features and games on the MGM online casino platform in New Jersey.

What games are available at MGM online?

  • Slots: Over 200 slots are in the playMGM library, with new titles added regularly.
  • Blackjack: MGM has a handful of blackjack variants – fewer than some competitors, but enough to satisfy most consumers/
  • Video Poker: MGM offers many of the core variants popular with video poker players.
  • Roulette: MGM offers a handful of Roulette variants, but fewer than the market average.
  • Other games: MGM currently offers a small selection of other table games.

How do I deposit money at MGM?

As of this review, MGM offers most – but not all – of the popular deposit options that are standard at NJ online casinos:

  • Credit cards
  • Echeck
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash at the Borgata cage in Atlantic City
  • PayNearMe (cash)

Critically, MGM lacks a prepaid deposit option that has proven attractive to players at other NJ online casinos.

How do I cash out winnings?

Like most other NJ online gambling sites, there are a few basic ways to move money off of playMGM when you’re ready to cash out:

  • Direct to your bank account: eCheck, Neteller
  • By check: Check via mail
  • Cash: Pick up your cash at the Borgata cage

The rewards program at playMGM NJ

The playMGM online rewards program is called iRewards. It is similar to, but separate from, the MLife rewards program offered by MGM at the company’s land-based casinos.

There are five tiers to the iRewards program. To achieve a tier, you need to earn the minimum number of credits attached to each tier. Your rating is based on credits earned during the year, which begins on October 1st:

  1. Sapphire: 0 credits
  2. Pearl: 25,000 credits
  3. Gold: 75,000 credits
  4. Platinum: 200,000 credits
  5. Noir: Invitation only

How do you earn iRewards credits? When you play games for real money at MGM, you earn credits based on the type of games you play:

  • Regular slots: 1 credit for $5 wagered
  • Progressive slots: 1 credit for $10 wagered
  • Video poker: 1 credit for every $20 wagered
  • Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette: 1 credit for every $25 wagered

What can you do with your credits? You can:

  • Redeem them for Express Comps at MGM properties
  • Redeem them for online bonus dollars
  • Redeem them in the MGM online store

The background of MGM’s entry into the NJ online casino market

MGM Resorts International launched its New Jersey online casino on August 1, 2017, the first time the iconic gaming company has lent its name to an iGaming site.

It was the second new online casino brand to go live in NJ in the summer of 2017, with Scores Casino launching as well. Both online casinos are under the Borgata gaming license in the state; MGM now owns 100 percent of the flagship casino and resort of Atlantic City.

Here comes playMGM in NJ

The newest entry among NJ online casinos is the playMGM site that went live for real-money. The “playMGM” branding already appears in Nevada, including for the MGM sports betting app.

Now, MGM is live in the New Jersey market, but this time with full online gambling. (Online casino games are not available in Nevada, outside of real-money online slot tournaments.)

MGM had announced in the spring that it was launching an online casino, but details were scant, other than it was supposed to happen sometime in 2017. MGM COO Corey Sanders called it “a historic moment for MGM Resorts” at the time.

The rollout in summer allowed the site to gain some traction ahead of what are historically the busier cold-weather months.

Inside the playMGM online casino

The playMGM online casino is powered by GVC, which already was the software for the Borgata online casino. It is available via downloadable software, browsers as well as apps for iOS and Android.

What can you play for real money at launch?

  • Slot machines: More than 200 as of Tuesday.
  • Video poker
  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Bingo

There is also a playMGM-branded online poker room that will be a part of on the Borgata / Party Poker NJ network. The network will share liquidity across all skins; the only difference for the playMGM version is the branding/look.

The welcome package includes $25 in freeplay, and a 100 percent deposit match up to $2,000.

Right now, it appears the online casino is not linked to MGM’s Mlife rewards program for its land-based casinos. (Mlife is now available at Borgata.) Instead, the online casino offers the playMGM iRewards Loyalty Program. That allows players to earn points that can be used at an online store or for express comps at Borgata.

MGM obviously has designs on increasing its online gambling market share

The network of sites under the Borgata license was the early leader in the NJ online gambling market when it launched in 2013. The cachet of the Borgata brand was enough to establish it as a front runner.

But in the past year, Borgata has been relegated to the second tier behind clear iGaming market leader Golden Nugget. Nearly every licensee in New Jersey — Borgata included — trails GN by a wide margin in terms of revenue each month.

The addition of the well-known MGM brand should move the needle in the state. But there is certainly a question of how much more the market can still expand, or if additional, new online casinos will just be poaching gamblers and revenue from existing gambling sites.

Regardless of that, MGM obviously isn’t willing to sit idly by and let other casinos take the lead on online gambling. The launch of playMGM is the best evidence to date of that.

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Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner. He has played poker recreationally for his entire adult life and has written about poker since 2008.