PokerStars NJ Finally Expands Its Online Casino Lobby, But Does It Matter?

June 27, 2017 794 Reads
PokerStars NJ casino expands

PokerStars has launched 21 slot titles from NextGen Gaming on its NJ online casino platform.

The rollout represents the largest casino game expansion the site has undergone since going live in New Jersey back in March 2016.

But will it be enough to immediately transition Stars’ into a player in the state’s saturated online casino market? Or does last week’s expansion represent just one step in a long journey?

Proven content for online slots

NextGen Gaming is the independent game studio run by NYX Gaming Group, and as such, the new content was delivered on the NYX Open Gaming System.

The games are the first to launch on PokerStars Casino NJ via this method. But given the reach and aggressiveness of NYX in the regulated US market, it’s unlikely they’ll be the last.

As per NextGen Gaming Chief Commercial Officer David Johnson:

“NextGen is delighted to launch its first games in New Jersey with our close partners at PokerStars. This latest development further cements the success of our strategy of expanding relationships in regulated territories while growing our international profile as the leader in digital content provision.”

The new content, which is available on both the desktop and iOS/Android versions of PokerStars’ NJ client, represent an eclectic mix of NextGen’s more popular titles. Notables include:

  • Gorilla Go Wild
  • Doctor Love
  • Mad Mad Monkey
  • Double Play Superbet
  • Super Safari
  • James Dean

These will sit alongside the site’s popular StarBurst, Guns N’ Roses and Reel Rush titles.

Notably, none of the new titles are exclusive to PokerStars, having launched previously on multiple other NJ online casino sites. Among the sites that house these titles are Resorts Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino, which reside under the same iGaming license as Stars.

PokerStars climbs out of the basement

With the addition of the 21 new slots, PokerStars NJ Casino is no longer New Jersey’s most sparsely populated online casino site. That dubious honor is now shared by Harrah’s Casino and 888 Casino NJ, both of which feature roughly 60 total games.

PokerStars’ game library has grown to 68 games, not including the multiplayer versions of its table games. Of that figure, 52 of the site’s titles are slots.

By contrast, the average NJ online casino features anywhere from 200 to more than 400 total games. It follows that if PokerStars wants to hang with the industry’s big guns, it has its work cut out for it.

Measuring the impact

According to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, PokerStars accounts for just 10 percent of Resorts AC’s online casino revenue. That works out to roughly $300,000 a month in an industry that regularly pulls in more than $18 million.

While the launch of more than 20 new quality titles certainly won’t hurt Stars’ bottom line, it’s difficult to see the impact being too significant, for the following:

  • Overlap: As mentioned, NextGen titles are featured on a variety of NJ online casino sites. With the launch, PokerStars isn’t bringing anything new to the table.
  • Popularity: So far, only two of the 21 new releases rank in the top 10 most popular slots on PokerStars NJ Casino.
  • Awareness: PokerStars is still known primarily as an online poker site in New Jersey. The operator is working to shed that image, but it takes time.

Still, there’s equal reason to believe that PokerStars Casino NJ will begin to perform more admirably:

  • The site has begun to incorporate more casino-focused promotions into its rotation, including a daily Slots Challenge.
  • Most casino promos on Stars reward players with poker prizes, such as All-In Shootout tickets. This integrative approach could prove effective at driving poker traffic to the casino.
  • PokerStars is poised to launch its new rewards scheme in New Jersey. The revamped program is more focused on casual players that participate in all gambling verticals, not just poker.

Thus, while the inclusion of more slots on PokerStars shouldn’t change the game too much on its own, it represents a strong step in what should be an ongoing effort to increase casino revenue.