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Based on announcements by Evolution Gaming and GVC, no less than two Atlantic City operators plan to launch live dealer games in 2018.
One of those operators will be Borgata. The other is still unknown.
EGR‘s Brad Allen was the first to report GVC’s upcoming May launch of live dealer games in New Jersey. From the sound of it, the live dealer games will be available on all GVC-powered platforms, including Borgata online casino and the recently revamped and decoupled PartyCasino; the casino had been a tab on the PartyPoker NJ site.
Paris Anatolitis, the casino marketing director for GVC, told EGR that with the high demand for live dealer games in New Jersey, the addition will put PartyCasino and its associated brands “on par, or maybe ahead of, the competition.”
Play NJ reported on another upcoming NJ live dealer studio launch last week.
A single line in its Q1 earnings presentation has live dealer juggernaut Evolution Gaming entering the New Jersey online gaming market sometime in H2 2018.
“New Jersey studio planned for second half 2018”
During the earnings call, Evolution offered up a few more crumbs, indicating that more information — probably the land-based casino partner — about the New Jersey studio would be coming in Q2.
Evolution’s partner casino is unknown, and virtually every casino not named Golden Nugget or Borgata seems to be a contender.
The remaining casino operators in the Atlantic City market all have a presence in New Jersey and Pennsylvania:
There are also the two new casinos set to open in the coming months: Hard Rock AC and Ocean Resort Casino. Neither of these properties has a Pennsylvania connection. But both properties will be offering online gambling and might turn to live dealer to help close the gap on the more established online casino operators in the market.
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Building and running a live dealer studio is no small expense, but it’s becoming increasingly hard to ignore the success of Golden Nugget’s live dealer offerings.
Further, with the legalization of online gambling in Pennsylvania last October, some of the cost could be offset by running live dealer games in two markets — New Jersey and Pennsylvania — out of a single studio.
Golden Nugget’s domination of the New Jersey online casino market is nothing short of remarkable.
In March 2018, Golden Nugget tallied $8.7 million in gross gaming revenue. Its nearest competitor, Borgata, generated $4.6 million.
Even though the runaway success that is the Golden Nugget isn’t due to any single factor, it’s safe to say that a key factor was the introduction of live dealer games.
In a January interview with PlayNJ.com, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Online Gaming at Golden Nugget Thomas Winter said live dealer games have increased Golden Nugget’s online table game revenue by 150 percent since their launch in August 2016.
“Out of our top ten games in wagering, four are live dealer tables,” Winter told Play NJ, adding, “We believe Live Dealer has the potential to become bigger than online poker in revenues in the US.”
Soon after the launch of online live dealer games in August 2016, Golden Nugget’s gross gaming revenue started ticking upwards at an unprecedented rate.
Betfair Casino, a sub-brand of Golden Nugget, launched live dealer games in May 2017. And once again, after a few months revenue began climbing even higher: