Will the MGM Tie-Up Help Improve Borgata’s Online Fortunes?

There’s likely to be a new entrant in the online gambling industry in New Jersey, and this is excellent news for a sector that is relatively new. The takeover of Atlantic City’s Borgata Casino by MGM Resorts International will give the former’s online operations a shot in the arm. MGM is not a local brand but it is a gambling industry heavyweight with a huge amount of experience. As a matter of fact, its strong brand will definitely help increase revenues in the Garden State’s online gambling industry.

Borgata on a Downward Trend

The Borgata Atlantic City’s online business is currently at the top of the heap in New Jersey but there is much to be worried about. The company’s revenues from online poker and casino are steadily dropping whereas its competitors are increasing their revenues. Borgata’s gross online gaming revenue from its online operations was $45.82 million, a 3% increase over its previous years’ performance. However, this was a very disappointing performance, given that the overall online gambling revenues from the state expanded by a whopping 32.1% during the same period.

While Borgata managed to cling to its position as the largest online gambling operator in New Jersey, it would definitely have been worried by the results posed by its competitors. Caesars, Golden Nugget, and Tropicana showed increased revenues but Resorts’ had the maximum increase of them all, from around $5 million in 2015 to $30 million in 2016.

Borgata’s less than stellar performance can be attributed to 29.8% drop in revenues from online poker, clearly because of PokerStar’s entry into the business. Borgata’s casino revenues did increase but its 16.1% uptick was very modest when compared to the 35% shown by Caesars and Golden Nugget.

Golden Nugget is poised to outperform Borgata, given that its casino revenues exceeded Borgata’s by around $4.4 million and it does not offer online poker at present. Incidentally, its 2015 online revenues were just $1.5 million short of Borgata’s. Golden Nugget surged ahead in the second half of 2016, earning $23.5 million from casino alone in comparison to Borgata’s $22.3 million from casino and poker.

Can MGM Really Make a Difference?

Borgata has relied on its strong local brand awareness to get a big chunk of the NJ online gambling revenues since 2014. It has to be admitted that MGM doesn’t as yet have Borgata’s brand recall in New Jersey, but it is an internationally recognized brand. Also, it has just launched a casino in Maryland just across the border from New Jersey.

A major opportunity for both the companies exists via their loyalty programmes. There are many opportunities for cross promotions that will benefit the online as well as brick and mortar businesses. MGM’s M Life Rewards is far more popular than Borgata’s rewards programme as of the present.

It’s certainly not going to be a cakewalk for MGM because non-local gambling operators have always had a tough time finding their footing in this casino market. The only exception to this rule so far has been Betfair Casino which managed to get a 20% share of its market in spite of not having a land-based presence in the state.

There is some indication that Borgata’s associate GVC Holdings will provide MGM its casino platform for New Jersey. The software provider has recently increased its casino product to accommodate changing customer preferences. On the other hand, its poker product called ‘partypoker’ hasn’t been a success with gamblers in the state.

Overall, it seems very likely that MGM will be successful at improving Borgata’s online fortunes. In fact, this tie-up might even enable Borgata to maintain its position as the top revenue earner in the state.


Is the Gambling Industry Ruining Bitcoin’s Reputation?

Bitcoin has hit all-time highs this year, with a whole lot of people electing to use the digital currency, and thereby taking its usage and price steadily upwards. There was a time, not too long ago, when only a few people knew about Bitcoin but the situation is quite different today. A major part of the credit for making Bitcoin famous has to go to the online gambling industry since increasing numbers of people are realizing just how convenient it is for online gambling. However, people who have traditionally been Bitcoin enthusiasts aren’t too happy with this development because they feel that the online currency is getting a bad reputation thanks to the association.

The resistance towards online gamblers’ use of Bitcoin is really quite surprising since the original users of this currency were quite a mixed bag themselves. While there were indeed people who passionately believed in the digital currency and the philosophy it represented of disrupting the current monetary system worldwide, most of its users even right at the outset were speculators and investors.

When Bitcoin started to increase in popularity, banks started to scrutinize it in order to find out exactly what it entailed. Supporters of the cryptocurrency were really quite happy that the mainstream banking world was showing interest in it. This was followed by the insurance industry that started using blockchain as well.

Bitcoin, and the blockchain technology that underlies it has been very transformative for the online gambling industry. However, the effect that the industry has had on the cryptocurrency is mixed.

Disadvantages

To start with the disadvantages, the one that comes to mind first is that Bitcoin’s reputation is under threat. It is impossible to wish away the fact that many online casinos are shady operations. Bitcoin itself had had a chequered past thanks to its association with Silk Road. There was a time when people used to buy all sorts of illegal products and services om Silk Road using Bitcoins.

These days, this currency is even by many people seeking to disguise their online gambling or circumvent government restrictions. Another potential problem could occur in cases where people are gambling excessively. If Bitcoin becomes overwhelmingly associated with gambling, then any social problems the industry creates might also be blamed on it.

There is also a good chance that online gamblers will use casinos to convert Bitcoins to cash. This isn’t a problem if it is done on a small scale, but if it is unsupervised it can quickly become a money laundering method.

Advantages

The gambling industry does have a positive to offer Bitcoin and it is that it can expand the reach of the currency tremendously. Since the industry is ballooning in size, overall Bitcoin usage will only grow along with it.

Increasing numbers of casinos are adopting Bitcoin, and many players are switching to its use on account of its lower cost and ease of use. There are a number of ancillary businesses that will definitely benefit from the surge in Bitcoin usage. These include bitcoin media sites, exchanges, and mining sites.

The Way Forward

Gambling with Bitcoin does have a couple of major disadvantages but the potential advantages are far higher. Bitcoin advocates should ensure that more online gamblers and sites adopt this cyber currency because this is a failsafe way to increase its usage rate. Of course, the gambling industry will also have to take measures to improve its reputation. The industry will benefit tremendously from having proper regulations in place since this will help operators and customers alike and encourage growth along the right channels.


Europe Leads the Way for Online Gambling and Betting Platforms

Online gambling and betting consists of a wide range of games including poker, casino games, sports betting and also lotteries including others. The industry offers these games via a digital environment and users can play them in real time using their PCs or increasingly, their mobile devices.

The online gambling industry has expanded at a remarkably fast pace over the past 10 years or so, and this is because of a number of compelling reasons. One reason is that people are increasingly opting to gamble on the internet because this is the most convenient and cost effective medium. Another important reason is that many countries are putting laws in place to regulate internet-based gambling. Having a proper regulatory environment in place is very important for the online gambling industry. Furthermore, many well-established land based gambling operators are opting to take their businesses online.

The European markets are particularly important for the online gambling industry since operators here have taken to the industry in a big way. The Asia Pacific market trails behind it because of the lack of uniformity of regulatory regimes.

This report offers a detailed analysis of the worldwide gambling and betting market divided on the basis of geography and game type. The different types of games are casino, poker, lottery, bingo, social gaming, sports betting and fantasy sports. Each of these types of games has also been analysed based on different geographies.

Geographical Evaluation of International Online Gambling and Betting Market

The online gambling market has been divided into European, Asia-Pacific, North American, South American, and Middle East & Africa (MEA) markets. Europe is segmented into the United Kingdom (includes the Isle of Man), France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Malta, Gibraltar, and Rest of Europe. The Asia Pacific market is segmented into Australia, China, Japan, Philippines and Rest of Asia-Pacific. The North American market is divided into the United States, Canada and Rest of North America. South America is split into Brazil and the Rest of South America. The MEA market is further segmented into South Africa, Nigeria and the Rest of MEA.

Scope of the Report

The study provides valuable insight into the reasons for the growth of the online gambling industry and also the factors that hold it back. The focus has been on current market trends, future growth opportunities, in addition to developing strategies to help expand the industry. The study also provides revenue forecasts for each segment.

An important part of the study is the market share of important players. It is very important to understand the market position of leading players and also the place they occupy in the competition matrix. There is also a section on the evolution of the industry. Also included is Porter’s Five Forces Analysis on the overall industry.

The report studies a number of important industry players and bigwigs such as Net Entertainment, GVC Holdings Ladbrokes Coral Group, 888 Holdings, William Hill, Fortuna Entertainment Group, Kindred, Playtech, Amaya, and Paddy Power Betfair. It includes SWOT analysis on each of these companies along with detailed financial information.

The report was made by Transparency Market Research (TMR), a leading market intelligence firm that undertakes valuable business information studies. It provides trend analysis and detailed forecasting so that decision makers can have all the tools necessary to make the right choices. The company employs a team of experienced and highly qualified researchers, consultants, and analysts. It also makes use of the latest tools to collect and analyse data. Overall, this is a reliable source of information for businesses and it helps them retain competitiveness in increasingly difficult markets.


Mobile Gambling Industry Expands With Better Smartphone Availability

Nobody would have said, 10 years ago that mobile gambling would be such an important part of the online gambling industry. There have been huge changes in the industry over the past decade or so, and it’s not just because of new gaming software. The mobile phone industry has also undergone a transformation over the past few years, with the latest generation of mobile phones offering dramatically improved processing ability and also screen resolution. It is now fair to say that the mobile gaming experience comes very close to its desktop counterpart with the added benefit of increased convenience and portability.

The mobile gambling industry is expanding at a tremendous pace, with online gamblers increasingly opting to play using their smartphones or tablets. People these days tend to reach for their smartphones whenever they want to connect to the internet because they don’t like to be tied down to any location. As a result, most operators have begun to offer gambling sites that are optimized for the smaller screens of mobile devices in addition to their main websites.

Mobile gambling sites tend to have fewer games than conventional gambling sites and they also have considerably fewer features on account of space constraints. For instance, live gaming, a very popular segment, does not turn out well on a smaller screen and therefore isn’t available to mobile gamblers. Even so, there are so many advantages to gambling using a smartphone that people are willing to overlook the significant disadvantages.

The main reasons of better gaming quality on mobile devices are outlined below:

Increased Processing Power

The latest generation of smartphones has the very impressive processing power. The Samsung Galaxy S7, for instance, has a 2.3Ghz processor in addition to 4GB of RAM. It’s very easy to gamble on the latest high-tech phones since even sophisticated software runs on them without any interruptions. In fact, since a smartphone is pretty much like a computer, the quality of gaming is also very similar except for the differences in screen size.

Better Graphics

The impressive quality of graphics on mobile phones means that high it the much like that of computers. In addition, mobile developers spend a great deal of effort to develop games for mobile phone use.

In Browser vs Apps

There are two main ways of gambling online using a mobile phone. One is to use the browser to access the gaming site and start playing. This is usually the simplest and easiest way to gamble since it doesn’t involve downloading any software to the device. The best mobile sites are designed to be highly responsive and they fit the size of the screen as well as its resolution automatically. In fact, mobile sites offer a seamless transition from regular gaming sites.

The other option is to use a mobile app. Mobile apps need to be downloaded but they allow for a quick and easy gaming experience since users can jump from one feature of the site to another without any problem. It is costly to develop a mobile app. However, many gaming operators are spending money on mobile apps for iOS and Android devices because this is clearly a requirement from customers.

It is clear to see that the online gambling industry will continue to move towards increased mobile use as newer and more sophisticated phones are launched in the market. Gaming software developers also work on games that play well on smaller devices and there are frequent releases of exciting titles. The industry will have to continue taking cues from its customers to figure out in which direction it has to expand.