Betfair Casino first announced that it would begin supporting the Live Dealer format in April, although no firm release date had been set.
Golden Nugget Casino was the pioneer of the Live Dealer format in New Jersey, having launched last August. The format has been a marked success for the industry leader.
Betfair Live Dealer: quick facts
- Games offered: blackjack (three seven-seat tables), roulette, baccarat
- Blackjack Side bets: Perfect Pairs, and 21+3. Bet Behind is coming soon.
- Hours of operation: 3 p.m. – 3 a.m. daily
- Bet spreads: $10 – $1,000 for blackjack, $1 – $1,000 for roulette and baccarat
- House edge: ~0.72 percent for blackjack, 5.26 percent for roulette, and 1.06 percent for baccarat (banker bet)
- Loyalty point earn rate: 1 Tier Point and 1 Bonus Point per $1 wagered
- Available platforms: PC, Mac, and Android/iOS (smartphones only)
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Same games, different portal
At present, Betfair Casino is mostly acting as a secondary portal by which NJ online casino players can access the Golden Nugget’s Live Dealer studio.
Beyond sharing the same studio, the two sites will share liquidity across two blackjack tables, roulette, and baccarat. For the time being, one blackjack table will remain exclusive to Golden Nugget.
Betfair’s Live Dealer interface is identical to the one utilized by the Golden Nugget, making for an easy transition between the two sites. The operational hours are also in sync.
With all these similarities, one might wonder if there’s any reason to play on one site versus the other. The answer is yes:
- Golden Nugget and Betfair offer distinct welcome packages. When new players exhaust one, they can hop over to the other site to get more free cash and a second first time deposit match.
- The sites also offer independent promotional schedules. There may be times when playing Live Dealer on Betfair will make more fiscal sense than playing on Golden Nugget, and vice versa.
- Betfair supports a multi-tier loyalty program, that allows frequent players to earn better cashback rates, along with other perks. On Golden Nugget, VIP players (3,000 points or more lifetime) are entitled to weekly cashback. Again, these are independent programs.
Will overcrowding be an issue?
The shared liquidity aspect does present one potential problem, and that’s overcrowding.
Already, it appears to be something of an issue, as during prime time hours, both of Betfair’s Live Dealer Blackjack tables were at capacity. This problem will only escalate as Live Dealer awareness spreads.
Luckily, both Golden Nugget and Betfair are in the process of instituting a countermeasure, and that’s the Bet Behind side bet. Bet Behind, as the name implies, enables players that are not seated at the main game to bet on hands being played by those at the table.
Bet Behind players follow the same exact decisions as the main table player.
In addition, even seated players can take advantage of the Bet Behind feature, which allows them to bet on their fellow table mates.
Effectively, Bet Behind transforms a game that’s currently capped at seven bets per round (one per seat) and transforms it into one that can theoretically service an infinite number of players, much the way Live Dealer Roulette and Baccarat can.
We expect this feature to go live sometime this summer, which is good news, because by then it’s plausible that there will be more observers than players.
There really isn’t too much new to say about Betfair Casino’s Live Dealer format, as it’s effectively the same as Golden Nugget’s.
One thing we did notice is that server disconnects occurred with some frequency when connected via WiFi, although this is likely just a growing pain that will be ironed out in short order.
Otherwise, the games ran fluidly and without lag, even at the highest video quality setting. And there were certainly enough built-in features, including game history, settings, and info, to satiate most gamblers.
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