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In celebration of the event, the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City will be hosting a tour of the studio space where the games will be broadcast, followed by a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on August 11th in the casino’s Main Atrium.
Thursday’s launch will mark the first time that a US regulated online casino, in New Jersey or elsewhere, has offered Live Dealer games. Until now, the only way players physically situated in the US could access such games was to risk playing on an offshore site.
At launch, the Golden Nugget will offer three Live Dealer Games: BlackJack, Roulette and Baccarat.
OPR reached out to Vice President of Online Gaming at Golden Nugget Thomas Winter, who indicated that more games and game variants are in the pipeline:
“We are launching with Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat so we’ll cover most needs from the get-go but yes we are already working on adding more games, more side bets for Blackjack and innovative features to the existing products. Some of these additions should be available by the end of the year.”
The Golden Nugget online casino site now features a Live Dealer tab in its main lobby, which was added earlier this week as part of the Live Dealer soft launch phase. Until Thursday, the games were only available on mobile and desktop during the hours of 6 p.m. and 2 a.m.
All Live Dealer games will be broadcast from the new Golden Nugget studio, located at the brand’s land-based casino in Atlantic City.
Players who already frequent the land-based casino will be pleased to know that the Live Dealer games will feature the same generally favorable rules as those found on the casino floor.
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As a first-mover in the Live Dealer games in New Jersey, the Golden Nugget Casino stands to differentiate itself from what has become a highly saturated online casino market. With the launch of PokerStars in March, the industry now features 13 distinct casino brands.
But perhaps more importantly, the new games stand to drive online traffic to the Golden Nugget’s brick and mortar location.
It is already widely known that NJ online gaming has a complementary, not cannibalistic, effect on land-based turnouts.
By bridging the gap between live and online, this synergy will only increase, with the Live Dealer games acting as a sort of stepping stone for players who play exclusively online.
As per Winter:
“Online gaming already drives traffic to the casino floor, as new players engage with the Golden Nugget brand, through advertising or online play. Online Live Dealer will be even more effective because it embodies the relationship between the brand and players, because dealers are located in the casino and also because younger players who were only playing online will like the live interaction and want to come to the casino to make it even more real.”
Live Dealer games will possess many of the same qualities as table games played on the casino floor:
Although NJ regulated sites are required to abide by high standards with regards to game integrity, there are still some traditional table game players who have held off on online because they were wary of computerized systems.
Winter sees Live Dealer games addressing this concern:
“Online Live Dealer is a very unique selling point that should appeal to existing online table game players but also to traditional casino players who needed this very product to trust online gaming.”
In June, the partnership of the Golden Nugget Casino and Betfair Casino generated more online casino revenue than any other NJ operator. It was the first time in industry history that a single online casino operator broke the $3.5 million mark for a calendar month.
The introduction of Live Dealer games should only pad the duo’s lead.
That said, it’s difficult to see the impact on online revenue being anything more than nominal — not because Live Dealer games won’t be successful, but due to their very nature.
To clarify, the number of Live Dealer games are limited by the amount of dealers available. No such limitation exists for computer operated games.
Furthermore, Live Dealer games will move at a sluggish pace compared to their virtual counterparts.
Instead the bigger impact may be on land-based revenue, especially if the Golden Nugget Casino encourages Live Dealer players to visit Atlantic City via a strong cross-promotional marketing effort.
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