March 9th, 2016
NetEntertainment is looking to strike gold by exploring new frontiers in the US iGaming market after agreeing deals with some major casino operators. Despite the US regulatory landscape remaining in a state of uncertainty, NetEnt's CEO Per Eriksson believes his Stockholm-based company can become a force in the US after it received its transactional waiver (essentially a licence to offer iGaming products) from New Jersey's Division of Gaming Enforcement.
For those with their finger on the pulse of US iGaming regulation, the road has so far been a long and fractured one. Although a number of states, including California and New York, are in favour, they have yet to finalise any concrete plans. As it stands, three US states have regulated iGaming – New Jersey, Nevada (home of gambling mecca, Las Vegas) and Delaware – and software supplier NetEnt is now able to offer its range of products to the state's active operators.
Talking to CalvinAyre.com, NetEnt North America's managing director Bjorn Krantz explained that the company's New Jersey efforts started back in 2013, when the state first regulated iGaming. However, owing to the iGaming economy's relatively slow rate of growth, as well as a general reluctance to partner with European operators, it's taken until the start of 2016 for it to earn a transactional waiver.
"We've been scouting around in the US and North America for quite some time," said Krantz.
With a deal now in place, however, it's full steam ahead as the company looks to offer casino gaming software, such as its high profile Guns N' Roses slot game, to New Jersey sites such as NJ partypoker, US 888 Casino, WSOP.com and Betfair's US platform.
Part of NetEnt's confidence ahead of its move into the US is an increase in profits of more than 50% in the last year. According to the company's latest financial reports, its shares have doubled in the last 12 months and it now has a market value of close to $2 billion.
Although this rate of growth is almost impossible to maintain, there's a definite opportunity to expand in the US market. As it stands, companies such as Dragonfish provide software provisions within the Garden State; however, with a well-respected stable of casino games to offer, including live dealer casino games and progressive jackpot slots, NetEnt could become a major player in the market. In fact, if it can match the 30% coverage it enjoys in Europe, it could become one of the state's top software suppliers.
Moreover, with PokerStars set to go live in New Jersey on 21st March, it may well want to extend the deal it currently has in place with NetEnt's European axis in order to provide more online casino games alongside its poker product. With European software companies often shunned by state regulators and operators, the fact NetEnt is now a member of the Garden State's iGaming economy could mean it's set to bloom in the coming months. While there is certainly a long way to go until the US is a fully open market, NetEnt's recent moves in New Jersey are a testament to its growing influence in the industry.