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Virgin Group Entering Online Casino Action in NJ

5 February 2014 by Devon Chappell

Look out New Jersey (NJ), here’s Virgin Group. Shortly after initial online gambling revenue reports have come in with less than great results, we now learn there’s a new online casino by Virgin in the making for the NJ market.

Gamesys, which acquired the Virgin Games sector of the Virgin empire in 2013, is bringing the brand to the online realm in the Garden State through its partnership with the well-known Tropicana property.

While we’ve actually known the brand partnership was given the go-ahead some time ago, the online site is actually going live this week.

Online gambling began in New Jersey in late November with high hopes of it becoming the solution (or at least a big part) to Atlantic City’s gaming revenue slump dating back to 2006. While New Jersey peaked out, earning a massive $5.2 billion in that year, it nonetheless fell prey to neighboring competition from newly developed Indian casinos in Pennsylvania and New York. Even though New Jersey has been a longtime gambling destination for the East Coast, times have changed…and are still changing, indeed.

Revenue from traditional gambling last year was expected to fall to around $3 billion. The dawn of online gambling has said to be a solution; But New Jersey will have to stay ahead of the curve if that’s so. The most heavily developed online gaming state in the US, New Jersey is still struggling with competition from Delaware, which has also gone live with online casinos.

Now that Virgin Casino is opening its virtual doors this week, it will be interesting to see the second set of gaming revenue results, knowing that Atlantic City’s 12 land-based casino resorts are counting on furthered success – perhaps now more than ever. A handful of these land-based resorts have already launched over a dozen online wagering sites.

Companies like 888 Holdings, PokerStars and Gamesys Limited (which already operates the jackpotjoy.com website) have effectively launched casinos online in the state; However, traffic is not as high as initially anticipated.

Virgin Casino joins several other internet gambling sites that have been given the regulatory green-light, which include the Trump brand, Caesar’s and Borgata, the latter of which currently runs the most successful site of the lot. New Jersey is the third state to allow online gaming – following Nevada and Delaware.

In the last five weeks of 2013, New Jersey online casinos brought in just $8.4 million in revenue. But for 2014, revenue is expected to jump to as much as $500 million. And Gov. Chris Christie is hopeful the tally can climb to $1 billion.

Virgin Casino had to delay its launch of the highly anticipated debut in the New Jersey marketplace after technical issues with its online casino software were recognized during a soft run. These issues stemmed from payment and login criteria, and not the casino games. Other casinos launching in the NJ market have encountered similar bumps in the road.

As you’d expect from Sir Richard Branson, the Virgin Casino will be as flashy as his approach is to most all business adventures. The first casino from the Virgin brand to take wagers outside of the UK, this casino will definitely be expected to stand out from the rest of the pack. Just think of the amazing approach the Virgin name has had on travel by airplane and you’ll understand the potential this casino will have under the Virgin brand.

One promotion at the casino is already being discussed with much ado. Tropicana’s Virgin Casino is going to provide what it calls a Community Jackpot, which rewards all players with a bit of money every time someone else playing at the online casino hits a jackpot. This is a good start to expected fun and excitement attached to Virgin anything!

At press time, it is believed that the Tropicana online casino by Virgin will have about 23 online slots and additional various casino games available. Stay tuned!

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