Everi has carved out a niche among NJ online casino suppliers
Online Poker Report

Everi Expands New Jersey Online Casino Footprint With BetMGM Deal

Everi Roar Digital

Everi, a leading manufacturer of slot machines, announced an expanded New Jersey partnership on Monday with Roar Digital. Roar is the joint venture involving MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings that operates three online casinos in the state:

All three brands can now offer Everi’s popular three-reel stepper slots, which are based on its mechanical reel machines. Three of these titles launched immediately, and Everi promises that more will be coming soon. The upcoming Hot Spot 777 title will be exclusive to Roar.

The deal broadens an existing relationship between the two companies.

“We consider Roar Digital to be a leading [premier] operator, and this partnership is another significant milestone for our Digital business,” said David Lucchese, Everi’s executive vice president of sales and marketing.This move further strengthens the deep relationship with MGM Resorts International, GVC and Roar that already exists with our Games, Digital and FinTech businesses.”

According to estimates from Eilers & Krejcik earlier this year, BetMGM is the market leader among NJ online casinos.

Old-school meets new tech

As a specialist in mechanical slot machines, Everi has carved out a special niche for itself in the digital era. Although stepper slots lack the fancy animations and novel gameplay of modern video slots, they tend to be easier to understand. Some players prefer this simpler experience.

Everi also benefits from familiarity when it comes to players transitioning from live casinos to online. Its machines are present in most US casinos, and it goes to great lengths to make the online versions of its games as true to those mechanical originals as possible. That’s particularly important right now, with the looming possibility of a second wave of casino shutdowns as cases of COVID-19 rise.

The company seems to be well-positioned in New Jersey. Its Remote Game Server makes it easy for partner companies to add its games to their lineup, and most NJ online casinos now include some titles from Everi. This new deal with Roar is similar to one it struck last November with market leader Golden Nugget.

It also recently made its first foray into the Canadian market, bringing its games to the Quebec lottery’s website EspaceJeux in partnership with Scientific Games.

A roller-coaster ride for shareholders

Despite its online progress, however, Everi remains first and foremost a manufacturer of machines for the gaming floor. That shows in terms of how its stock prices have been affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

Prior to the arrival of the virus on American shores, Everi was a hot pick. Strong Q3 results and the announcement of the Golden Nugget deal caused its shares to jump 34% in November, eventually peaking at $14.88 in late February. Less than a month later, their value bottomed out at $1.55 amid the nationwide casino shutdown — a loss of nearly 90%.

Its shares have partially rebounded since then, hovering in the vicinity of $6 since May. How they move from here largely depends on what happens with casinos in the fall.

Whatever the case may be, however, the company’s online expansion is now doubly important. Though they’re an emerging vertical in the US, legal online casinos serve an important role as a safety net to help make up for revenue interruptions.

Looking next door to Pennsylvania

Everi’s arrangements with BetMGM and Golden Nugget means it has probably achieved most of its short-term goals in New Jersey. Although Betfair Casino and DraftKings Casino are also top-four operators in the state, their clientele has less overlap with the traditional casino crowd.

Everi may now find it prudent to set its sights on other markets.

In Pennsylvania, it already has a partially exclusive deal in place with Parx. Roar is additionally on the cusp of getting its PA online casino license, potentially at this month’s regulatory meeting. That could mean a BetMGM PA launch in a matter of days or weeks too.

Everi also maintains a relationship with several other key operators in the state, including market leader Rush Street Interactive.

Alex Weldon
- Alex is a freelance writer and artist living in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. He has been doing data-based analysis of the online gaming industry since 2016.
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