Live Dealer Games Are Gaining Steam In NJ, And 888 Casino Is Next To Launch

Martin Derbyshire Updated on March 20, 2020
888 Casino

The success of online live dealer games on the first NJ online casinos to employ them has prompted several competitors to jump on board.

Now, yet another NJ online casino is preparing to launch a whole new slate of the online and traditional casino game hybrids.

Golden Nugget was the first online casino in the state to offer online live dealer games, launching roulette, baccarat, and blackjack in August 2016.

The games are run by a company called Ezugi NJ. They operate from a studio inside Golden Nugget Atlantic City. Players can watch a live simulcast of the action on Golden Nugget’s NJ online casino site, which features an electronic wagering interface allowing players to bet on the games in real time as well.

Betfair on board

In May 2017, Betfair, an online casino site operating under Golden Nugget’s internet gaming license, hopped aboard. It began allowing its players to bet on the same games. Golden Nugget kept one of its live dealer blackjack games exclusive to its players only.

In December of that year, Golden Nugget expanded its live dealer offering by launching the country’s first online live dealer Casino Hold’em poker table.

Just a few months later it did it again, launching the first-ever online live dealer game to operate live from its casino floor instead of the Ezugi NJ studio. The game uses a live video feed of an American Roulette table on the Golden Nugget Atlantic City casino floor. Players are able to bet on the game online or on the casino floor.

However, the latest additions to Golden Nugget’s suite of online live dealer games didn’t launch until a few months after the entire project was being hailed as a great success.

Success at Golden Nugget

In January 2018, Thomas Winter, Golden Nugget’s Senior Vice President and General Manager, Online Gaming, said the games have helped make Golden Nugget the NJ online casino market leader:

“Golden Nugget growth (in 2016), more than twice the market average, in part attributable to live dealer, has demonstrated that the benefits of offering live dealer far exceeded the extra cost.”

Winter said close to 25 percent of players on Golden Nugget play live dealer games. Plus, they often play them in conjunction with slots or other electronic table games.

In fact, Winter said live dealer games have helped increase table game revenue on Golden Nugget by 150 percent and could soon surpass the $2 million a month in online poker revenue generated in NJ:

“Out of our top 10 games in wagering, four are live dealer tables. We believe live dealer has the potential to become bigger than online poker in revenues in the US.”

According to Winter, even the new Casino Hold’em is working:

“We just launched Casino Hold’em and it’s already proven very successful. Half of Casino Hold’em players are new to Live Dealer. Poker players finally have a live variant of their favorite game and can bet as low as $1 per hand.”

Since launch, Golden Nugget has only grown its live dealer offering. Plus, it has taken on partners to share in the added cost of running the games:

“We think sharing our studio with more brands is a win for operators and patrons alike… This is still more expensive than to offer electronic games, but we are reaching reasonable levels.”

Winter said the plan is to add more partners that will offer online live dealer action from the Ezugi NJ studio.

In April 2018, it did just that.

Borgata adds live dealer games

The three online casino sites operating under the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa internet gambling license, including Borgata Casino, BetMGM Casino, and PartyCasino, all launched live dealer games.

These are, of course, the same games offered on Golden Nugget and Betfair, for the most part at least. All the games on the Borgata sites are run from the Ezugi NJ studio. However, the sites do offer two exclusive blackjack games.

Plus, the Casino Floor Roulette table and Golden Nugget’s blackjack table remain exclusive.

Now, another site wants in on the NJ online live dealer game. However, this one thinks it can do it without Golden Nugget and the Ezugi NJ studio.

888 Casino is next to launch live dealer

In June, Swedish company Evolution Gaming announced it will launch a “live casino solution” for 888 Casino. The games will launch on the online gambling site in New Jersey sometime this summer.

The games will include:

  • American Roulette
  • Slingshot Roulette
  • Three Card Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker

Plus, Evolution Gaming says there will be others.

888 chief operating officer Itai Pazner said 888 is committed to growing in regulated markets. Now, it is looking to become the next NJ online casino to offer online live dealer games.

Image credit: Geoffrey Kuchera / Shutterstock.com

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