MGM eyes bigger share of NJ online casino market
Online Poker Report

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

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

It’s the second new online casino brand to go live in NJ this summer, 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 allows 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.