NetEnt grows New Jersey presence with Churchill Downs deal

16 October 2018

NetEnt has moved to enhance its presence in the regulated New Jersey market by striking up an online games partnership with Churchill Downs.

Under the deal, NetEnt will now deliver its portfolio of online casino games to Churchill Downs, best known for its horseracing betting services.

Erik Nyman, managing director for the company’s NetEnt Americas business, said the addition of its games will become an “important contributor” to growth in online casino for Churchill Downs.

Earlier this year, Churchill Downs announced deals with SBTech and Golden Nugget to launch online gambling services in New Jersey.

Churchill Downs said it is targeting the first quarter 2019 to begin accepting legal wagers for sports betting and online gaming in New Jersey.

The deal will come as a boost to NetEnt, which in July insisted that it was “taking action” after a slowdown in the UK contributed towards disappointing revenue growth in the second quarter.

Revenue was up 6% year-on-year to SEK437m (£37.2m/€42.3m/$49.2m), with earnings before tax growing by a modest 1.2% to SEK149m.

At the time, Therese Hillman, who was appointed as CEO of NetEnt in May, said she “couldn’t be too confident” the revenue outlook would improve significantly over the next two quarters.

However, NetEnt has seemingly stuck by its pledge to take action to and pursue opportunities in other markets. This includes the new deal with Churchill Downs and also applying for a licence in Pennsylvania, where regulated online gaming should be live before the end of the year.

In addition, NetEnt last month announced that it was to launch in Lithuania for the first time via a new partnership with domestic betting operator TOP sport. The company refused to rule out further deals in the country.

Image: Santeri Viinamäki