Ontario's custom-branded live dealer games stream from studios in Europe

BetMGM-Branded Live Dealer Tables Launch In Ontario, Streaming From Europe

BetMGM is playing to its strengths in Canada. The online gambling operator launched a branded live dealer studio yesterday to cater to its online casino bettors in Ontario.

The province’s BetMGM Casino players saw six branded blackjack tables hosted by live dealers in Europe, where Malta-headquartered Evolution is broadcasting from the operator’s private studio.

This new branded live dealer studio plays to BetMGM’s core power, because online casino is firmly in its bailiwick. The Jersey City, NJ-based operator is No. 1 in online casino market share in the US.

Plus, BetMGM Gaming Director Oliver Bartlett said branded live dealer studios help further differentiate BetMGM Casino from its competitors.

A couple of weeks ago in an interview with Online Poker Report, Bartlett said:

“Through the strong branding and marketing of our live dealer offering, particularly our live dealer private tables, we remain the leader in the space.”

In yesterday’s announcement about the studio, BetMGM Gaming VP Matthew Sunderland said:

“Through our live offering, the goal is to strengthen Ontarians’ touchpoints with our iconic, black-and-gold BetMGM brand.”

Ontario’s BetMGM Casino added games, too

The branded live dealer studio augments “the full Evolution portfolio of online live casino games and games shows, Evolution First Person games, and NetEnt and Red Tiger online slots,” according to the BetMGM announcement.

BetMGM Casino nearly tripled its number of iOS games, adding 108 slot and video table games to bring the count to more than 170. It now offers more than 700 slots, table and variety games on Android and desktop.

BetMGM said of the iOS news:

“The expansion is headlined by 30 exclusive titles, like MGM Grand Millions, Premium Blackjack Pro and Mega Mirage Magma.”

New games from BetMGM partners include:

  • Divine Fortune (NetEnt)
  • Gonzo’s Quest (NetEnt)
  • Cleopatra (IGT)
  • Wheel of Fortune Megaways (IGT)
  • Jackpot Fortunes (Pariplay)
  • Spirit of Mustang (Pariplay)
  • Cash Bonanza (Pragmatic Play)
  • Treasure Wild (Pragmatic Play)

Live dealer rules different in Ontario

Laws regarding online casino live dealer products are among the many differences between Ontario and US online gambling laws.

In the US, live dealer studios need to be physically housed within the legal US online casino states.

So far, Evolution and Isle of Man-based Playtech have studios in Michigan and New Jersey. Evolution further has Connecticut and Pennsylvania studios. (The studio catering to Nutmeggers isn’t yet live.)

Delaware and West Virginia don’t have live dealer studios despite offering legal iGaming. Perhaps that’s because of their population sizes making live dealer less economically viable than the other states.

Then yesterday in Ontario, BetMGM debuted branded live dealer products streaming all the way from Europe.

That was part of its first product upgrade after April 4, Launch Day of Ontario’s expanded iGaming marketplace.

However, the operator resulting from a joint venture between Isle of Man-headquartered Entain and Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International had already been offering live dealer. It was one of six doing so.

On Launch Day, Evolution said it was “powering online casino services” for:

  • 888
  • BetMGM
  • LeoVegas
  • Rush Street Interactive (known for BetRivers)
  • theScore Bet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Penn National Gaming

Those five joined the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), which had been using Evolution’s Vancouver stream since October 2021.

Other provincial lotteries also use the Vancouver studio for live dealer products:

  • British Columbia Lottery Corporation, offering live casino to British Columbia and Manitoba
  • Lotoquebec.com

Ontario’s iGaming market continues to evolve

On Launch Day, 13 operators joined the marketplace with online casino, online poker and online sports betting products.

Since then, Ontario’s regulator has approved 30 operators.

Most recently, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) added Betway today and NorthStar on April 13.

European Betway and homegrown NorthStar are expected additions.

However, one surprise remains: Boston-based DraftKings still isn’t on the list of approved operators. No word yet on when that brand will be arriving.

- Heather Fletcher is the lead writer with OnlinePokerReport. She's a career journalist, with bylines in The New York Times, Adweek and other publications. Reach her at [email protected]
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