NJ Online Gambling Operators Struggling with Consumer Awareness
The Chief Financial Officer of Station Casinos, Marc Falcone, has predicted a tough road ahead for the company’s online gambling product but believes that ultimately regulated online gambling will succeed in the US.Station Casinos owns 57% of Fertitta Interactive, the parent company of Ultimate Gaming which operates in both the Nevada and New Jersey online gambling markets. Falcone has picked out a number of factors that he believes are holding the New Jersey market back: consumer awareness, banking, geo-location and competition from unregulated sites.
He believes that New Jersey operators are having a particularly difficult time educating the public about legal online gambling. He believes that there is a lack of awareness across the state which operators are struggling to address.
As a result Station Casinos has found that the New Jersey market is “very aggressive from a promotional standpoint”. As a result of the tough competition Stations reported a $4.8 million loss related to online gambling operations in Q1 of this year. According to Falcone a significant part of this was due to the costs of launch marketing in New Jersey.
While Falcone doesn’t believe that the company will be cash flow positive this year, he is confident that it will be getting “closer to break even as the year moves on.”