888 and Evolution previously partnered in Europe but have expanded the relationship to capture some of the live dealer revolution in New Jersey.
“We see the addition of Evolution’s live casino to 888 Casino as an excellent growth opportunity,” said Itai Pazner, 888’s chief operating officer. “And it will allow us to offer even more entertaining products to customers across their [favorite] 888 sites.”
In a statement, Pazner went on to say that he felt the time is right for Evolution.
“We are confident that Evolution’s live casino will continue to drive additional growth for 888 in New Jersey,” Pazner remarked.
888 Casino NJ is a bit late to the live dealer party
Live dealer games involve an actual dealer running an actual table game onscreen. Players can log in, watch, and wager via a live stream.
Golden Nugget online casino debuted the concept in New Jersey in August 2016. The online casino has remained the leading provider of live dealer offerings even as other casinos began to produce their own versions.
So, 888 is certainly not first to market. In fact, five NJ online casinos are already in the space:
Still, it’s hard to argue with 888 Casino’s desire to enter the market. Golden Nugget’s online gambling component generated revenues just under $9 million in May.
Many observers believe Golden Nugget’s dominance (over 35 percent market share) is at least partially attributable to its live dealer games. Plus, 888 is set to offer game options uncommon to the space.
888 may be the place for something different
888’s live dealer games are not the typical offerings seen at Golden Nugget, Borgata, or any of the other operators in the market. Players will now have the ability to play the following games in a live dealer setting:
American (Double-Zero) Roulette
This version of roulette is functionally the same as a normal roulette table. In fact, players familiar with American casinos may not notice any difference. However, European players will notice the addition of a 00 space, which almost doubles the house edge.
Automated Slingshot Roulette
Despite the fancy name, this game plays exactly like a typical roulette table. However, this version automatically spins the ball in the wheel and reads the result of the spin. In effect, it’s a logical combination of roulette and a pinball machine.
Three Card Poker
This game plays identically to its live counterpart. Players attempt to form a stronger three card poker hand than the dealer. However, the player must decide to raise or fold prior to seeing the dealer’s hand. A fold results in a loss for the player, regardless of the strength of the dealer’s hand.
The dealer’s hand must also “qualify” by having a value greater than Queen high, or only the player’s ante bet will be paid.
Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker
This game also plays identically to its live counterpart. However, it bears only a modest resemblance to the popular poker game and is subject to a house advantage like any other table game. As in Three Card Poker, players are competing against the dealer’s hand. Similar to Let It Ride, players have several opportunities to bet varying amounts on the outcome of the game.
The amount of win or loss is based upon the strength of their hand and the actions of the dealer. The overall house edge is just over 2 perce t for the ante bet.
888’s new slate of games is filled with table games that are extremely popular in live settings. This twist on the offering may be just what 888 Casino needs to carve out a share of the market for itself.