The “who” is still a question. But according to live-dealer company Evolution Gaming, it will be launching a product in New Jersey in the second half of 2018, if all goes according to plan.
Live dealer games are online offerings with a dealer running tables games via a physical studio. Bettors can place bets on the games remotely while watching them in real time from their computer or mobile device.
The news from Evolution Gaming
So far, the details are sparse. According to a presentation detailing the company’s Q1 earnings:
New Jersey studio planned for second half 2018
That’s all we got. The earnings call also said we would get more details about the launch of the studio before the end of Q2. So details could be forthcoming within the next month or so.
Evolution makes no reference to which casino the studio will be built in, nor which online casinos it will serve. We also don’t know what they offer, although games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are the most obvious options.
Evolution recently announced its third production hub in Europe, where live dealer games are common at online casinos.
Expanding the live dealer market
The online casinos under the Golden Nugget license currently dominate the industry in NJ, accounting for about one-third of all revenue. GN currently enjoys a huge lead over the rest of the market. It also has continued to expand its offer since launch in 2016.
While that’s not entirely due to the presence of live-dealer games, Golden Nugget has been aggressive in creating the biggest library of games in New Jersey, live dealer included.
Now, someone will finally be ending Golden Nugget’s monopoly on this segment of the market.
At this point, it could be anyone. There are currently six casinos in Atlantic City without live dealer studios. And there are two more casinos on the way that will have iGaming — Hard Rock online casino and Ocean Resort Casino.
There are various reasons that many of them could make sense. And Evolution has partnerships already with many of the online casino platforms that serve New Jersey.
The two new casinos could be building studios into their revamped casinos. A smart bet could be the casino owners who will have a presence in both NJ and Pennsylvania; the latter state is likely launching online casinos later this year. The new owner of the Tropicana — Eldorado Resorts — and Harrah’s fit this category.
But for now, we’ll have to wait and see who gets the new live dealer studio.