In an interview with Bloomberg News last week, Brian Mattingley the CEO of 888 stated that, “We are absolutely shocked by the slowness of the New Jersey online gambling market.” He added that, “The operators have not seen a positive response from their marketing campaigns, we’ve got to think again, the way we market.” Mattingley appears to be speaking across the board and his words will not be what Gov Chris Christie want to hear after he passed legislation just last year with revenue predictions of as much as $1 Billion per annum being spoken of at that time. The truth is that nowhere near that amount will be reached, and not for the foreseeable future either, if indeed ever, as April revenue stood at just $11.4 Million, down from March.
There has been no lack of marketing or advertising campaigns with both 888 and Bwin.Party/Borgata running radio, TV and billboard campaigns across the state, even into New York and Pennsylvania and many operators are now looking at a plan B and concentrating on their casino product rather than their online poker offering. In fairness, those companies delivering online poker and casino games have not been helped by banks who still refuse to process credit card transactions, and also by the fact that many potential players are put off by having to provide their social security numbers before playing real money online casino games. Further hindrance has been thrown their way by the recent announcement that online gaming affiliates were not welcome in the state, a source of online marketing that has traditionally massively assisted the European and offshore markets. All online gaming companies in the Garden State will be attempting to recover at least some of their start up costs this year, but turning a profit it seems, is still a long way off.