Live Dealer Online: Bigger & Better Than Ever Thanks To Evolution Gaming

Written By Martin Derbyshire on November 26, 2019

Thanks to Evolution Gaming, one of the major catalysts for the recent success of the New Jersey online gambling industry is growing again.

Last week, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) approved Evolution Gaming’s plan:

To expand its live dealer casino game studio inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City.

The plan includes more than doubling the size of the studio to 5,386 square feet and adding a host of new tables, including:

  • A money wheel
  • A side bet city table
  • 24 modern blackjack tables

Evolution’s live dealer online casinos

Evolution Gaming opened its live casino studio in August 2018. It immediately launched live dealer games to the following NJ online casino sites:

Evolution’s live dealer games are now available at DraftKings Casino, as well.

Mostly, live dealer games have players viewing a live simulcast of the action on real casino tables from a local studio. The games feature an electronic wagering interface online, which allows players to bet in real-time.

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Evolution Gaming US expansion

The NJ live casino production studio was Evolution’s first in the US market.

The company received the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board‘s approval in September to open up a second US studio to serve the PA market.

The studio will open in 2020 with 10-plus live dealer tables. The games will appear on the Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino site, at least after the two sides struck a deal last month.

Initially, the NJ Evolution Gaming studio hosted ten live dealer tables, which included the following games:

  • American roulette
  • Slingshot roulette
  • Blackjack with side bets and bet behind
  • Baccarat
  • Three-card poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em poker

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History of live dealer games in NJ

Of course, live dealer games launched in the NJ online casino market with just one casino in August 2016.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City enlisted the help Ezugi NJ to run its live dealer lineup from a studio on the property.

In May 2017, Betfair hopped aboard, and later that year, the number and types of games offered expanded.

In April 2018, Borgata Casino, BetMGM, and PartyCasino all launched the same Ezugi NJ live dealer games. And, of course, in August 2018, Evolution jumped into the Garden State market, ensuring roughly half of the online casinos in the market now offer live dealer games.

Market leader Golden Nugget has long maintained that live dealer games have helped the casino climb to the top of the NJ online gaming business.

Golden Nugget’s (senior vice president & general manager of online gaming) Thomas Winter, says:

“The benefits of offering live dealer games far exceed the extra cost.”

According to Winter:

Somewhere around 25% of Golden Nugget customers play live dealer games.

Plus, live games helped increase table game revenues at the online casino by 150% last year. That put the casino on the path to surpassing monthly online poker revenues in NJ.

DGE approval of Evolution Gaming’s expansion does come with a couple of stipulations.

Firstly, the company must provide adequate closed-circuit television coverage of the tables, even when the games close down. Plus, Hard Rock must provide studio security.

Martin Derbyshire Avatar
Written by
Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than 10 years of experience reporting on the online poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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