GiG-powered PlayStar Casino marks first US market entry with New Jersey launch

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PlayStar online casino has gone live with a full rollout in New Jersey, built on Gaming Innovation Group’s (GiG) iGaming platform.

The privately owned operator, set up by Hexigames, Blinto and Readly founder Joel Wikell alongside former Yggdrasil and Play’n GO executive Adam Noble, partnered with Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City in 2021 to secure access to the market.

The agreement between GiG and PlayStar is based on a revenue share model and will last for a minimum duration of four years.

The two companies first signed a US iGaming platform agreement in February 2021, at which point the brand was expected to go live in New Jersey during Q4 of that year.

Following some delays, PlayStar entered into a soft launch phase in the Garden State in August 2022, before rolling out its full product offering in the state today (13 September).

While New Jersey is considered to be the US’ most mature online sports betting and iGaming market, GiG pointed out the potential growth still available in the state, with statewide gaming revenue up 31% year-on-year in August 2022.

The supplier added that PlayStar aims to provide a unique online casino experience in regulated states through personalisation, engagement and exemplary customer service.

Richard Brown, CEO of GiG, said: “From the beginning of our agreement, we at GiG have been impressed with the extremely strong product vision at PlayStar, backed by what is a very experienced industry team. 

“We’re delighted that our technology has played a central role in the New Jersey launch, and can be proud that, as PlayStar establishes themselves as a strong and innovative iGaming brand in the US, the success of our partnership will further demonstrate and drive our ambition to be the platform partner of choice for operators in regulated markets.”

PlayStar CEO Per Hellberg: “Of course, to have a great product you need a great platform and we’re very pleased with how the GiG platform has helped to bring our product vision alive. It’s only early days, but we’re seeing great numbers and confident we can build on that as we ramp up in New Jersey.”

Former Catena Media CEO Per Hellberg, who has headed up PlayStar as chief executive since March 2021, added: “There has been a tremendous amount of work put into getting this far, and to now be live in New Jersey is a major milestone. 

“Of course, to have a great product you need a great platform and we’re very pleased with how the GiG platform has helped to bring our product vision alive. It’s only early days, but we’re seeing great numbers and confident we can build on that as we ramp up in New Jersey.”

In addition to its New Jersey launch, PlayStar is expected to go live in Pennsylvania before the end of 2022, pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

After signing a platform agreement for its Pennsylvania launch in July 2021, Per Hellberg commented: “With our preparations firmly underway for our New Jersey launch with GiG, it was a natural progression to leverage that work and replicate our casino offering over the border in Pennsylvania. 

“This will mark the second market entrance for PlayStar in the USA with GiG and we’re looking forward to launching a casino experience like no other.”

PlayStar is the latest operator to go live in the New Jersey online gambling market in recent weeks. At the end of August, peer-to-peer betting operator Prophet Exchange marked its US debut by going live in the state, in the process becoming the only regulated betting exchange available in the country.

Then, last week on 7 September, sports streaming service FuboTV’s Fubo Sportsbook went live in the state, in a move which the business said reinforced its commitment to interactive wagering.

About the author

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Conor Mulheir

Conor entered the gaming industry in 2018 producing high-level live event content for audiences in London, Amsterdam and São Paulo. From 2020, he went on to report news and commission exclusive content for various gaming media brands before joining iGaming NEXT as editor in January 2022.

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