Ray Stefanelli from Hard Rock Atlantic City talks about the NJ online casino market
Ray stefanelli is the new vice president of online games at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
Stefanelli is a Lynchburg College graduate and New Jersey native. He has overseen several gaming segments over his three-decade career, including poker and online casino. It also has ties to the Hard Rock brand, serving as Seminole gamepoker marketing director in 2013.
âWe are delighted to welcome a 30-year industry professional like Ray to the Hard Rock family,â said Joe lupo, president of Hard Rock Atlantic City. “I am confident that Ray will continue to enhance our online gaming experience here in New Jersey, while playing a critical role in the expansion and development of the existing and future customer product with the Hard Rock Digital team.”
NJGamblingSites.com caught up Stefanelli to discuss Hard Rock Online casino product, the Garden State Marketplace closes its first year of $ 1 billion, and more.
NJGS: Tell us briefly about your background and experience with online gaming.
Ray stefanelli: I’ve been in the gaming and hospitality industry for over 30 years, starting with land-based properties, then working with gaming consulting firms such as KPMG Consulting and PriceWaterhouseCoopers. I then moved to the online gaming space, working on the setup phase in New Jersey prior to 2013, before returning to full-time online operations in 2014. I am delighted to be working for Hard again. Rock, a globally recognized brand that has seen huge success, especially in the competitive Atlantic City market.
NJGS: New Jersey is home to the largest online gaming market in the United States. Is there an opportunity to expand the Hard Rock online casino brand into NJ and how to achieve it?
Ray stefanelli: Hard Rock is one of the most recognized brands in the world and thanks to the commitment of the management team to align Hard Rock Atlantic City and Hard Rock Online Casino, we have the unique ability to create parallel offerings between two, giving customers better access than ever before.
We are confident that whether they are a Hard Rock Online Casino customer, an on-site player, or both, their experience will be world class and memorable.
NJGS: Online NJ players have a variety of options. What makes Hard Rock Online Casino unique and what sets the brand apart from other online operators?
Ray stefanelli: Hard Rock Online Casino stands out for many reasons, but most importantly the access and benefits that customers enjoy online and on-site, such as hotel and headliner entertainment offers, restaurants and entertainment. award-winning drinks, slots, table games, sports betting, and more.
Hard Rock Atlantic City has delivered on its promise to provide a diverse portfolio of enjoyable entertainment experiences for customers and online gaming will continue to be a great option for customers to enjoy a safe, secure, and seamless gaming experience. hassle.
NJGS: Hard Rock AC was the first to launch live online slots. How has this product been received by players and what is the future of live online slots?
Ray stefanelli: Live slots was a great way to show customers that Hard Rock Online Casino is progressive, genuine and trustworthy. You can physically see your favorite slots when played online and it has been a great way to upgrade to the full online experience.
Online gaming technology uses a random number generator to determine the outcome, the same technology used in a slot machine in the casino.
Customers love being able to play their favorite games and Live Slots provides the ability to access them while providing a physical machine to confirm the veracity of online games.
NJGS: Online casinos have clearly benefited from sports betting in New Jersey. What steps can Hard Rock take to strengthen its presence in the online sports betting space?
Ray stefanelli: We understand the importance of online sports betting and the relationship it has with our online casino offering.
We will continue to offer sports betting, both retail and online for our customers, but we will engage in a responsible manner. There are operators who will not be profitable in the years to come depending on their strategy of conquering sports market share at all costs. We will be responsible and continue to provide our customers with the best online gaming experience, which will include online slots, table games, live dealer and sports products.
We will also ensure that we do so with integrity and with consideration of our key stakeholders, including our owners, customers and team members.
NJGS: NJ is on the verge of surpassing $ 1 billion in annual online casino revenue. Does the size of the market surprise you and what are your expectations for the future?
Ray stefanelli: The size of the market does not surprise me at all. With such [a] Dense population and gambling propensity, New Jersey continues to perform well in the online space.
Going forward, I expect traders to move away from mass acquisition strategies and start focusing on profitability and bottom lines. Having said that, I have no doubts that our strategy is aligned with fundamental business objectives.
Photo provided by Hard Rock Atlantic City