The Atlantic City area has been through many trials over the last few years. A weakened economy, a hurricane, and gaming development in neighbouring states has put the gaming resort in the worst position in which it has ever been. However, hope springs eternal in Atlantic City as new regulations will make established land-based casino able to offer online gaming.
With regulations currently being sorted out by New Jersey officials operators are already applying for licensing and developing online gaming strategies. Seen as the only thing that may be able to turn around the fate of the long time gaming area, Atlantic City is betting it all online.
Leading the way will be the one resort that is still doing a good business in the city, the Borgata. Their parent group, Marina District Developments, has announced they finished preparations to enter the online gaming sector and will be able to start offering online action as early as November of this year.
In a statement Borgata officials said they intend to offer the first online action in the state and expect to capture a significant share of the online market. Estimates in potential revenues could range from $200 million to $1.2 billion annually, with a realistic number likely somewhere in the middle of that range.
Officials also addressed the potential issue that online gaming could take revenue away from existing land-based platforms. They said they expect online gaming, especially poker, to drive new gamers to the city to play and believe online action will complement the current platform.
Marina District Developments is a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International. That leads to speculation that the software platform to be used in the Borgata online casino will be bwin.party digital entertainment. Boyd Gaming and MGM are already teamed up with bwin for real-money online poker in Las Vegas.
The move to online action is expected to retain the Borgata’s leading role in the region and could put the casino back into a position where it has control over a big percentage of the market. Until other surrounding states legalize online action many gamers, especially poker players, will relocate to Atlantic City to play poker legally in the United States for the first time in two years.
Despite declining profit margins the Borgata continues to be a profitable casino in a market that seems decimated. They may have outperformed the market in every category, but casino revenues fell by 6% to $165.6 million and gross operating profits fell from 27% to $28.4 million compared to numbers from the same time in 2012.
The Borgata recently released in-room gaming where patrons can play video slots and video poker. Guests need only register for the service when they get their My Borgata rewards card and they can play the games in their room.
The casino is also committed to the development of mobile applications that will make gaming possible in restaurants and at poolside, or anywhere else on the property.