Popular software developer NetEntertainment, widely known as NetEnt, is building on its European success with a watershed manoeuvre into the North American market. The company will begin its transatlantic expansion in New Jersey, branching out in a move that Bjorn Krantz, managing director of NetEnt North America, sees as being long overdue.
“NetEnt is a big company in Europe and we want to expand our footprint. We felt that North America is the right place to be,” he told CalvinAyre.com. “We’ve been scouting around in the US and North America for quite some time to learn what the market is about. We took a decision that now is the time to do something.”
The state of New Jersey legalised online gambling in November 2013, and remains one of the few jurisdictions in the States to have done so. The thinking behind the shift in legalisation was that e-Gaming would generate extra cash for local casinos, with one forecaster, H2 Gambling Capital, predicting that "online gambling would produce around $300 million" for the New Jersey economy each year.
With the above in mind, it might come as a surprise that an international firm like NetEntertainment (which has has offices in Sweden, Malta, Gibraltar and Ukraine) has been granted access to the US market, as the firms multi-pronged business model could ultimately divert funds away from the country. NetEnt were granted their transactional waiver by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement quite quickly however, much to the delight of MD Krantz.
“All in all, it has been a very positive experience for us,” he said. “We’re used to working in regulated environments and we’re licensed in Europe, and we were able to take that experience and knowledge when we applied for the licence in New Jersey. [That] NetEnt is more of a European company has never been a problem.
“We are known to be a pioneer in what we’re doing in the online casino segment. We’re also known to have premium content with the best quality and innovation around it, so the buzz around NetEnt coming into U.S has been fantastic and we can’t wait to be live.”
The gambling industry in America is still in its infancy in large parts of the country, and remains outlawed in many areas under three federal laws and a host of legislative acts. Recently, however, a number of states have opened up to the idea of online gambling – likely due to the boost it can offer to ailing economies – and widespread growth of casino and poker sites is predicted for coming years.
Krantz believes that NetEntertainment can act as an icebreaker to help early adopters get more companies off the ground. “Through the 20 years that we’ve been live, we have gathered a lot of business intelligence. And business intelligence is important, because it’s about data, facts, how to help our partners to optimise their operations,” he said.
“We can take a good piece of that business intelligence and help our partners in the U.S, starting with New Jersey, as we build up their business momentum over the NetEnt content.”