Hard Rock Atlantic City — New Jersey’s newest land-based resort — debuted its real-money online casino in the New Jersey market on Thursday.
The site is currently in beta-testing, and opened quietly, with little of the fanfare of its brick-and-mortar counterpart’s official opening ceremony on the same day. The Hard Rock Atlantic City unlocked its doors a day early on Wednesday, with the official bash taking place on Thursday night, complete with guitar-smashing celebrities.
Gaming Innovation Group (GIG), the Hard Rock’s technology partner, announced the company had received a transactional waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to move ahead on June 28, which certified that the GIG Core platform was compliant with New Jersey gaming regulations.
The Beta Goes On
The current beta testing — which is a DGE requirement before a full launch — limits the site to 500 concurrent gamers. Operations on Thursday and Friday were also limited to between noon and 8 pm ET, and to between noon and 2 am for the weekend.
A full-scale launch date has yet to be announced, but it could be as soon as Monday. That’s provided beta testing goes without a hitch and the site can demonstrate that its geolocation and other compliance protocols are working properly.
The Hard Rock becomes the seventh land-based operator to join an online gaming market that has been gaining steam in recent years. Last year, the internet sector generated $245 million, up almost a quarter from the previous year, and representing over nine percent of the AC gaming’s combined GGR.
Ocean Rides the Wave
This is the first foray into online gaming for Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. With sports betting newly legalized and launched in the Garden State, the timing is on point.
Hard Rock has beaten its competitor Ocean Resort into the market, but probably only by a few days. While the two casinos opened in Atlantic City on the same day, Ocean plans to launch online gaming operations on July 1, per an announcement from payment provider Global Payments Gaming Solutions.
Ocean Resort will launch in partnership with online gaming platform provider GAN, which noted in its last annual report that it had been hired to build an internet sports betting platform for the new casino.
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