Borgata COO Claims iGaming Not a Threat to Brick and Mortar Operations

January 8, 2014
Borgata COO Claims iGaming Not a Threat to Brick and Mortar Operations

Some have tried to make a claim that online gambling will negatively impact brick and mortar casinos. Try telling that to Tom Ballance, the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Borgata in Atlantic City. According to him, online gambling does not pose a threat to his casino’s normal operations.

In an interview that he gave CNBC this past Thursday, Ballance says that, “When we match up databases, the great majority of players who were playing online have not been to Borgata in well over a year. And the vast majority have made fewer than two trips in the past year. So it’s a different customer.”

Ballance further went on to state that the casino actually has some advantages to offering online gambling. He stated, “Online we actually have more controls. … You don’t extend credit online. You’ve got to fund your account somehow … through your checking account or through a credit card.”

Atlantic City iGaming has experienced tremendous success since launching in late November. Ballance says that online gaming has far exceeded any expectations they had. He also gives the company some of the credit behind this success, saying that, “Borgata was uniquely positioned to be at the forefront, primarily because of efforts by our managing partner, Boyd Gaming Corporation. Boyd’s strategy is to engage in online gaming nationwide. We weren’t out hunting for a service provider, when others were. We were all set up and ready to go.”

Interestingly enough, online gambling may have came at exactly the right time not just as a revenue builder but perhaps as a way to keep the monopoly on casino gambling that the city has enjoyed. The city is currently in the fourth year of a five-year grace period setup by Governor Chris Christie to allow Atlantic City to become profitable. If the city’s casinos don’t start turning their fortunes around by the end of that period, casinos expansion in the state could begin.

Atlantic City iGaming has exploded since November with over 150,000 online accounts created. Online poker in the state is currently seeing traffic of 500 to 700 total users per day, double that of Nevada. Hopefully the success of New Jersey iGaming will inspire other states to take a closer look at legalizing gambling in the near future.

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