MGM Resorts, a giant in the world of hotels and casinos is about to set up shop in New Jersey in another foray into the world of online casinos and gambling. The announcement was made earlier this month and includes a deal with GVC, a UK based online games provider. The new online casino platform is expected to be ready for launch sometime in late 2017 or early 2018.
This announced deal marks the first time that MGM Resorts will use its powerful brand name directly to offer online gambling services. In the past, MGM has worked as a silent partner with GVC to operate the Borgata online casino. The setting up on an online casino in New Jersey comes after a multi-year fight with the state of New Jersey and MGM Resorts. In order to move forward with the new agreement, MGM had to wait and buyout in full the Borgata. Only with conflicts of interest removed was the MGM able to operate again inside New Jersey.
This deal marks a major shakeup in online casinos inside the USA since not only will MGM bring a huge brand to the marketplace, but the ability to share customer reward between real resorts and casinos and tie those rewards and offer points for online gambling will be a new feature. It could make a drastic change in the industry if online casinos can offer rewards and points that can be spent at major resorts throughout the world.
In contrast to many of its peers, the MGM has been a major supporter of online gambling. Instead of fighting against it like many of the land-based large casinos in Las Vegas, MGM seems to be willing to jump on the future and connect online and land-based entertainment. If there is any comparison that can be made, the most likely candidate would be Polaroid, who throughout the 1980s fought against the idea of digital cameras and was destroyed in the process. By directly offering online properties, MGM is set to be rewarded by people who would then follow their brand to land-based resorts where rewards are waiting for them for their online gambling. In addition to New Jersey, MGM has been a vocal participant in many of the fights being fought in individual states as they try to quickly adapt to the emergence of online gambling and online casinos.