‘Wheel of Fortune’ Casino Coming Online After BetMGM, Sony Spin Partnership
Posted on: June 21, 2022, 08:27h.
Last updated on: June 21, 2022, 11:55h.
The Wheel of Fortune Casino, the first fully-branded online casino platform in North America based on a television show, is set to launch in New Jersey.
BetMGM tells Casino.org that the iGaming and sports betting unit of MGM Resorts recently partnered with Sony Pictures Television and International Game Technology (IGT) to operate a branded Wheel of Fortune casino. The iGaming arrangement comes as the iconic syndicated evening game show celebrates its milestone 40th season on-air.
‘Wheel of Fortune’ is watched nightly by millions of people and BetMGM is honored to partner with Sony Pictures Television and IGT to bring this online casino experience to life,” said Matt Prevost, BetMGM’s chief revenue officer. “Once live, Wheel of Fortune Casino will offer players the excitement of their favorite game show and real money wagering in the palm of their hand.”
BetMGM will license the brand from Sony, and IGT will develop the software to run the online site. The Wheel of Fortune Casino will first debut in New Jersey.
Pending a successful rollout, the iGaming facilitator will expand the “America’s Game” iGaming casino to other states where it’s licensed. In addition to New Jersey, BetMGM currently operates internet slot machines and table games in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Casino Staple Moving Online
Slot machines, the quintessential gambling apparatus, date back to the late 1800s. The traditional three-reel terminals with a pull lever dominated commercial and tribal casino floors for roughly the next 100 years.
In the mid-1990s, gaming manufacturers like IGT began partnering with brands and television and movie studios to offer themed slots. IGT produced its first Wheel of Fortune slot machine in 1996.
Over the past 26 years, IGT has developed more than 200 variations of its Wheel terminals. The games are all loosely based on the television game show, providing gamblers with a chance to spin the wheel and win prizes.
Wheel of Fortune is considered the most successful slot brand in the history of casino gambling. With iGaming still in its infancy in the US, BetMGM and IGT hope to be at the forefront in bringing traditional retail slot players online.
“We’re excited to celebrate the evolution of the IGT Wheel of Fortune slot brand with BetMGM through the launch of the Wheel of Fortune Casino. The Wheel of Fortune brand has been synonymous with slot gaming for more than 25 years, and this unprecedented brand-led online casino … is well-positioned to engage and entertain new and long-time players,” said Enrico Drago IGT’s chief executive of its digital betting unit.
Wheel of Fortune was created by legendary game show producer Merv Griffin in 1975. Griffin, who had earlier developed Jeopardy!, served as executive producer of Wheel until his death in 2007.
Wheel of Fortune was briefly hosted by Chuck Woolery until Pat Sajak was hired after Woolery and Griffin argued over the host’s contract. Sajak has hosted the syndicated show since December 28, 1981.
Hostess Vanna White has been in her role since the following December. She replaced original hostess Susan Stafford in 1982 after she left television to focus on humanitarian efforts.
Borgata Top Dog in New Jersey
MGM Resorts’ lone Atlantic City casino property is the Borgata. The Marina District resort has long dominated the brick-and-mortar gaming market. But through its BetMGM partnership, Borgata has recently emerged as the top iGaming operator.
According to recent financial reports disclosed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Borgata’s iGaming business has won more than $200.8 million from internet gamblers this year through May. Its nearest competitor is Golden Nugget and Golden Nugget Online Gaming at approximately $182 million.