It can be tempting to think of online casinos as a commodity, with each offering more or less the same bonuses, the same promotions, and the same library of games – or at least close enough.
In New Jersey’s legal online casino market, it’s true that many casinos do offer broadly similar promotions and bonuses. But where the casino experience really starts to diverge at New Jersey’s regulated gambling sites is when you start to talk about games.
First is the simple fact that from casino to casino you’ll find a radically different number of games. Now, a big game total doesn’t necessarily mean that a casino is the best, but it’s worth noting some game totals from legal sites in NJ just to get a sense of how big the gap between casinos can be.
Total online casino games by operator as of July 20th, 2017:
- Golden Nugget: 418
- Resorts: 411
- Mohegan: 402
- Caesars: 344
- SugarHouse: 323
- Betfair: 235
- Borgata: 233
- Pala: 209
- Tropicana: 182
- Virgin: 177
- Harrah’s: 66
Source: NJOnlineCasino.com’s tracker
It’s hard not to notice the gap of over 350 games between Harrah’s and Golden Nugget’s online casino. Again, game count isn’t everything, but for online casino players who value variety, it’s definitely a factor in choosing – and sticking with – an online casino in NJ.
That broader gap also comes into play when you start diving into the individual game types at NJ’s regulated online gambling sites.
For example, Golden Nugget offers 13 variations of blackjack (including live dealer games), while Harrah’s offers one. If you’re a video poker player, you’ll find more variety at Caesars (22 variants) than any other online casino (the average for competitors is about 10). And if you prefer table games other than blackjack, you’re probably heading back to the Golden Nugget again (13 total, including live dealer) – although the gap here is far smaller as the average hovers right around nine at the typical legal online casino in New Jersey.
What numbers don’t do is tell the story of exclusive content. For example, SugarHouse recently launched Slingo games on its NJ gambling website. And Virgin is the exclusive home to the popular Deal or No Deal Slot. The same is true on the table game side; you won’t find variants like Sic Bo or Let It Ride at every legal NJ online casino.
And game totals don’t give you any insight into other critical parts of the regulated online gambling experience in New Jersey, such as payment processing, how easy or hard it is to set up your account, and what tools and features the site offers.
It’s tempting to think of New Jersey’s dozen-plus online casinos as simple variations on a theme. And in some senses they are. But for discerning consumers, there’s a unique experience waiting behind each brand, an experience that can take a much different shape depending on which regulated site you choose for your play.