The President and COO of the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City has told CNBC that online gaming is not a threat to land based casinos: “It’s a different customer.”
Based on one month’s figures from the New Jersey online market, Tom Ballance said that the “great majority” of online players had not been to the Borgata for over a year. He continued to say that “the vast majority have made fewer than two trips in the past year.”
He also told reporters that the online casino had more controls than the brick and mortar equivalent, not less—a position that is the opposite of that maintained by online opponent Sheldon Adelson.
Online we actually have more controls. ... You don’t extend credit online. You’ve got to fund your account somehow … through your checking account or through a credit card.”
The Borgata is in partnership with Boyd Gaming and bwin.party for its online gaming business in New Jersey. Pokerscout has reported that the network is already the clear market leader in terms of cash game traffic.
Ballance admitted that online poker was a lower margin business than online casino games but argued that the Borgata Casino had established a lead in offering live poker which made the business viable, and that the online business was driven by the same factors.
He made the company’s position on market share absolutely clear: “Poker is all about having enough players.”