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888.com CEO on Internet Gambling in NJ: ‘We Are Absolutely Shocked by Slowness'

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
May/24/2014
888.com CEO on Internet Gambling in NJ: ‘We Are Absolutely Shocked by Slowness'

Brian Mattingley, chief executive officer of London- based 888, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg News this weekend, “We are absolutely shocked by the slowness of the (New Jersey online gambling) market.”

And he’s not the only one.

New Jersey casinos are in the process of shifting their marketing focus from poker to the online casino, which traditionally has been the cash cow for internationally based Web betting firms.

Bwin.Party, which operates in partnership with the Borgata, will cut its ad spending almost entirely following a disastrous first quarter.

From Bloomberg News:

Revenue is coming in at a fraction of what was predicted. New Jersey forecast as much as $1 billion a year when Gov. Christie, a Republican, signed legislation authorizing online play last year. The monthly tally in April was $11.4 million, down from March. The state is one of three, including Nevada and Delaware, to allow casino-style bets online.

“The operators have not seen a positive response to their marketing campaigns,” Mattingley said, speaking broadly about the industry. “We’ve got to think again, the way we market.”

Bwin.Party and the Borgata have advertised heavily on local television, radio sports stations and billboards throughout the Garden State and neighboring Eastern Pennsylvania and New York City.

Banks refuse to process the vast number of online gambling transactions while other customers have been turned off by the requirement to provide a social security number online, something that Gambling911.com urges against.

In the past two weeks, a handful of international Web gambling companies have pulled out of the New Jersey market after the receipt of cease and desist orders.

Online gambling affiliates, which account for a substantial amount of referral business to offshore betting firms, were also forced out of the New Jersey market after receiving similar letters.

Virgin Casino, which reported success with its online marketing efforts through affiliates and ad partners like Gambling911.com, has had to halt such marketing efforts as a result of the state Attorney General's newly implemented policy.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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