GameCo Granted Skill-Based Online Gambling License in New Jersey

  • GameCo specializes in skill-based video gambling machines
  • The New Jersey license allows GameCo to offer its games on online casino apps
  • GameCo previously had a skill-based game in Atlantic City casinos in 2016
  • The company plans to roll out Multiplayer Arena games in casinos
Three friends playing mobile head-to-head games
GameCo has received a license in New Jersey to offer online skill-based video gambling. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Moving skill games online

GameCo LLC announced on Wednesday that it has received a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). The license allows the company to introduce its suite of skill-based gambling products and esports betting to both land-based on online casinos.

Though the license opens up new avenues for GameCo in New Jersey, it did enter the market in 2016. Caesars tried out “Danger Arena,” a basic first-person shooter, at Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s in Atlantic City. The experiment was short-lived, lasting less than a year, as the casinos simply had trouble drumming up interest in the games.

satisfying a massive demand from Gen X and Millennial players”

“GameCo pioneered the Video Game Gambling category in New Jersey and we plan to do the same with esports betting and skill-based iGaming, satisfying a massive demand from Gen X and Millennial players,” said GameCo’s co-founder and CEO Blaine Graboyes in Wednesday’s press release.

Targeting younger generations

Skill-based video gambling machines are effectively slot machines dressed as video games. While the better a player is at the game, the greater their chances of winning money will be, there is still a randomness to the prizes that guarantees the casino a profit in the long run. Even the most adept players will not win every time, though losses can typically be minimized.

For example, in the GameCo game “Nothin’ But Net 2,” players bet on each basketball shot they take. The shots are easy to make, but most pay “tokens” instead of money. Those tokens can then be used to take easier shots, automatically sink a basket, or advance directly to the jackpot spin. For a large number of tokens, players can take one harder shot to win all the money back they lost on missed shots.

The jackpot spin, which can also be earned by making ten of 15 shots, also mostly awards tokens, but can award cash, as well.

The key to GameCo’s New Jersey license lies in the ability to offer the skill games over the internet and mobile devices. These skill-based video games tend to appeal to a younger crowd than do slot machines, which is one reason why they sometimes get lost on the brick-and-mortar gaming floor. But mobile gambling users skew younger, as well, and skill games can be marketed easier via mobile apps, so the hope is that they garner more users online.

On-demand esports in the casino

GameCo also plans on releasing what it calls MultiPlayer Arena, its version of esports for casinos. These games – All-Star Hoops and Bandai Namco’s Soul Caliber II: Casino Edition will be the first two introduced – appear to be straight head-to-head contests between customers, rather than true gambling. It is similar to a poker tournament, except without the element of chance.

Some games will allow for as many as 32 players to compete in bracket-style tournaments.

Players can choose how much they want to wager on the game and then use the machine to find others at the same price point in the casino to challenge. Some games will allow for as many as 32 players to compete in bracket-style tournaments. Matches between two to four players are the most common.

The casino sets how much rake it takes from each competition. The rest of the prize pool goes to the winner. Thus, if four people compete for $100 each in All-Star Hoops and the casino takes a 5% rake, the casino makes $20 from that match and the winner receives $380.

GameCo already has single-player skill-based video gambling machines in some Nevada casinos.