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Gaming Report: The Stars Group Launches BetStars in New Jersey, IGT Launches Industry-First WAP Product in U.S. & More

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  • PG News September 17, 2018
  • 6 Mins Read

The gaming and sports betting industry in the U.S. has been rocketing to cover bigger skies ever since the U.S. Supreme Court granted legal space for sports gambling. One of the frontrunners in the race to launch sports betting is The Stars Group (TSG) that has finally released its much-awaited BetStars app for sports betting in New Jersey.

On the other hand, we saw International Gaming Technology (IGT) introducing IGT MegaJackpots, a Wide Area Progressive (WAP) product and the first of its kind to be launched in the U.S. Incidentally New Jersey residents will be the first to access IGT MegaJackpots.

Back in Asia, Macau casinos remained closed over the weekend due to the typhoon Mangkhut, translating in big revenue loss for the casino industry.

The Stars Group Launches Online Sports Betting in New Jersey

The much-awaited mobile sports betting launch by world’s premier online gaming site PokerStars in New Jersey has finally rolled out. Last Thursday, The Stars Group (TSG) that had partnered with the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City for the same, announced the launch of its BetStars app.

BetStas Application
BetStas Application

Talking about the launch, TSG senior VP for US strategy and operations, Matt Preimeaux said, “As one of the largest online gaming companies in the world with millions of customers worldwide, we have successfully launched BetStars in regulated markets across Europe and look forward to expanding and enhancing our New Jersey BetStars offering.”

While TSG has PokerStars, PokerStars Casino, Full Tilt and PokerStars Live under its banner, through ownership of Sky Betting & Gaming, it licenses Sky Bet, Sky Vegas, Sky Casino, Sky Bingo and Sky Poker online gaming brands.

In New Jersey, TSG already offers online poker and casino play via PokerStarsNJ.com and PokerStarsCasinoNJ.com. Through its proprietary technology and player account management platform, the New Jersey customers can operate on these two and the BetStars app platforms with a single account and a common wallet. In essence, players can make sports wagers within the poker or casino clients, delivering a seamless, online betting experience that includes a single account balance.

The company’s entry in the New Jersey sports betting market is well timed. Since June when the state opened doors to sports betting following the green signal by the U.S. Supreme Court, there has been a rapid influx of gaming companies. Sporting events worth $152 Million have already taken place and with the NFL football season underway, these numbers are expected to rise.

The site also supports several online and mobile depositing and withdrawal methods. Players looking to wager while at the tables can choose from the different options available, including football, basketball, baseball, golf, soccer, tennis and others.

IGT Releases Industry-First WAP Product in U.S.

Expanding its internet gaming presence in the U.S., International Gaming Technology (IGT) has launched IGT MegaJackpots, its first-ever cross-platform online Wide Area Progressive (WAP) product. According to the IGT, it’s the country’s first WAP product.

“Launching the first cross-platform online WAP games in the U.S. reinforces IGT’s commitment and leadership in delivering ‘industry-first’ innovation that elevates the player experience across multiple channels,” Enrico Drago, IGT Senior Vice President PlayDigital stated.

IGT MegaJackpots
IGT MegaJackpots

IGT MegaJackpots will be available to players in New Jersey on four sites, CaesarsCasino.com, HardRockCasino.com, MoheganSunCasino.com and ResortsCasino.com, while the MegaJackpots Slots has been introduced in New Jersey with two games, MegaJackpots Cleopatra and MegaJackpots Siberian Storm. More games will be added soon. In its present form, the jackpot pool starts at a base amount of $500,000 that is seeded by IGT and increases in value as players wager on the games.

“IGT’s MegaJackpots games continue to entertain players in the U.K. and other mature digital gaming markets around the world, and we believe our customers in New Jersey will benefit from incorporating life-changing jackpots on proven themes such as Cleopatra and Siberian Storm into their digital content offerings,”Drago explained, talking about IGT’s entry in New Jersey online gambling market.

The launch will widen IGT’s sports betting base in the U.S. While the brand has an established presence in the UK, it has recently forayed into New Jersey market with partnership deals with FanDuel and MGM.

The company has also obtained a sports betting license in West Virginia, entered a joint agreement with William Hill and the Rhode Island Lottery and announced a deal with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to move into the tribal sports betting market.

Typhoon Mangkhut Affects Casino Operations in Macau

Macau, world’s biggest gambling hub experienced its first-ever shutdown of the casino operations owing to typhoon Mangkhut. The storm forced the casinos to remain shut for 33 hours causing a loss of $186 Million in gaming revenue to the casino industry.

The casinos had been ordered by Macau’s Civil Protection Operations Center to “suspend all gambling activities” effectively from 11 pm local time on Saturday. Casinos were also advised to implement the agreed upon typhoon contingency plan to protect both casino staff and guests. Earlier on Saturday, the government had granted requests from four small SJM Holdings-licensed casinos to suspend their operations as Mangkhut approached.

After remaining shut over the weekend, all the Macau casinos including Sands China Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd reopened on Monday.

Casino and Gambling Operations Shut Down in Macau
Casino and Gambling Operations Shut Down in Macau

This is the first time casino and gambling operations shut down in Macau since 2002, and the suspension had a rippling effect in the stock market shares of the gaming companies.

On Monday, the Bloomberg Intelligence index for Macau casinos fell up to 2.1% during trading in Hong Kong, with Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd. and SJM Holdings Ltd. reflecting big losses. Shares of Galaxy dropped by 4.6% and of SJM tumbled down by 3.9%. Wynn Macau saw a 3.2% fall.

Macau casinos are already reeling under a decline of revenue growth, in midst of an economic slowdown in China and its ongoing trade war with the U.S. According to Bloomberg, since May 31, Macau casino shares have dropped by 35%.

“Investor sentiment could remain weak and volatile for now, given macro uncertainties and likely earnings revision by the street, exacerbated by this typhoon/suspension news,”JPMorgan analyst DS Kim stated, adding, “September could be a month to forget.”

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