New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market welcomed another player Thursday with the launch of Hardrockcasino.com.
On Thursday, Hard Rock International’s new Atlantic City casino (the former Trump Taj Mahal) held its official grand opening ceremony, complete with a mass smashing of guitars and indoor fireworks. The Hard Rock Atlantic City venue actually opened its doors to the public on Wednesday afternoon after receiving approval from state gaming regulators.
On Thursday, the Hard Rock venue’s online gambling technology partner Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) announced that it had received a transactional waiver from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement to provide the Hard Rock with a real-money online casino platform.
GiG’s press release indicated that the Hard Rock online casino would launch “later this month” – all two days of it – but the site appears to be already active. The site is casino-only, i.e. no poker except video poker, but then poker has become something of an afterthought in New Jersey’s red-hot online gambling market.
The site’s FAQ mentions the promise of live dealer games “broadcast directly from Atlantic City.” There are currently two New Jersey sites offering a live casino product — the Golden Nugget and Befair (which piggybacks on the Nugget’s gaming license).
The identity of the Hard Rock’s live dealer tech partner remains a mystery. The Nugget’s product comes courtesy of Ezugi but this month saw live dealer specialists Evolution Gaming announce two separate deals with the New Jersey online casino operations of 888 Holdings and the Resorts Casino Hotel.
HRI and GiG announced their partnership in February, marking the first instance of HRI branching out into online gambling and also the first instance of GiG planting its flag in the nascent US online gambling market.
GiG CEO Robin Reed expressed delight at the Hard Rock site launch, calling it “a first step in our mutually ambitious plans to take market share in the regulated online gambling market in the US.”
The other AC casino that officially opened Thursday, Ocean Resort Casino, announced last week that it planned to launch its online gambling site on July 1. Ocean Resort has partnered with tech provider GAN, which powers Betfair New Jersey’s online casino.