On Thursday, the 11th of August 2016, the New Jersey Online Casino Market decided to take a step forward with the official launch of Live Dealer games at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City; the Live Dealer games at the casino are said to be bridging the gap between online and live gameplay.
The occasion was marked by a tour of the studio space where the games will be broadcasted from, followed by a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony in the casino’s Main Atrium, at 1730 hrs on Thursday.
This marked a big break in the online community in the country as it is the first time that a US regulated online casino, has ever offered Live Dealer games in the country; till now, the only way players in the USA could access such services was via illegal offshore sites.
The Chairman and CEO of Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Tilman J. Fertitta, said, “We are excited to be the first domestic online gaming operator to bring Live Dealer to the U.S. This will clearly differentiate us from all other operators in the market, and we invite all online players to try this new and exciting online live gaming experience.”
Live Dealer Games
To offer this innovative, digital gaming platform, Golden Nugget Casino has built a sophisticated studio inside the casino premises, in partnership with Ezugi NJ, a specialised technology provider for live dealer casino gaming services; all Live Dealer games at the Golden Nugget will be broadcasted from this new studio.
Ezugi NJ, the B2B technology provider, will run the games in real time so players can place real money bets and interact with actual dealers at the Atlantic City casino, as well as other players that have joined the table from remote locations; this is as close to a real table game experience at the Golden Nugget Atlantic City as it gets.
Thomas Winter, the Vice President of Online Gaming at Golden Nugget, said, “Online Live Dealer creates true convergence between the casino floor at Golden Nugget Atlantic City and our online casino, which will appeal to the more traditional casino players who have yet to enjoy online real-money gaming.”
“We are honoured to partner with Golden Nugget Atlantic City to bring the first ever Online Live Dealer solution to New Jersey,” said Kfir Kugler, the CEO of Ezugi New Jersey.
He later added, “Live Dealer games are extremely engaging and belong in the USA.”
Real life visitors of the casino can take comfort in the fact that players who access the service through the internet, will find themselves faced with the same generally favourable rules as those that are issued to customers who frequent the brick and mortar facility.
The Golden Nugget online casino site added a tab for accessing the Live Dealer services on the home page of their site; this was added earlier this week along with the soft launch phase of the Live Dealer services. During the soft launch phase, the games were only available between 1800 hours and 0200 hours of the evening; however from the 11th of August 2016, with the full launch of the product, the service has been accessible, both on mobile and desktop devices, around the clock.
Three Traditional Games to Begin With
While the online casino for the Golden Nugget in New Jersey has one of the largest list of games, with more than 300 on offer at all times, they will begin their Live Dealer services with just three classic table games; at the launch, the Golden Nugget will only offer Black Jack, Roulette and Baccarat, which players will be able to access from anywhere and only within the state.
Winter said, “With the largest selection of online slots and now Online Live Dealer, Golden Nugget Casino is more than ever the destination of choice for New Jersey online players.”
The Vice President of Online Gaming also indicated that more games and game variants are in the pipeline for the Live Dealer service.
He said, “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.”
Advantages of Live Dealer games for Golden Nugget
The online gaming market in New Jersey has become rather overcrowded as of late, with the launch of PokerStars, earlier this year in March, the NJ market now features 13 distinct casino brands. Being the first facility to introduce Live Dealer games in the state, the Golden Nugget stands to carve out a special place for itself in the highly saturated online casino market.
As it has been widely noted, online gaming in NJ has been rather successful at attracting their remote players to their land based facilities; so, more importantly for Golden Nugget, the new games perhaps stand to drive online traffic to the brick and mortar location.
By providing a service which bridges the gap between live and online gambling, Golden Nugget could see many of their users, who exclusively visit the online casino, use the Live Dealer games as a stepping stone towards the actual facility on Castle Boulevard.
Winter also agreed that the online casino drives traffic to the land based property through online play and advertising.
He said, “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.”
Details of the Live Dealer Services
Live Dealer games will possess many of the same qualities as table games played on the casino floor; much like a real table game situation, patrons will be able to socially interact with the dealer and other players at the table, the dealer will be allowed to accept tips, so, players can choose to tip just as they could do in the live settings. The pace of gameplay will also mimic one that can be found in an actual table at the casino and lastly, unlike other online casino services, the Live Dealer games will use real cards and roulette wheels to determine game outcomes.
Although the state of New Jersey requires all casinos, offering online services, to abide by the high standards that have been issued by the gaming authorities with regards to game integrity, some traditional table game players are still wary of biased computerised systems, and therefore, hold off using online casino services altogether; the Live Dealer games could be the best answer to this concern.
Winter addressed the matter and said, “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.”
Effect on Revenues
The online casino for Golden Nugget has been performing very well over this summer; in June, the Golden Nugget Casino partnered up with Betfair Casino to generate more profit through their online venture than any other in the state of New Jersey; they were also the first to break the record for reaching the USD 3.5 million mark for a single casino in one calendar month. The introduction of Live Dealer games can only be expected to add to this.
However, at this stage it is unlikely that the Live Dealer games will rake in soaring profits; due to the very nature of the Live Dealer games, the income stream from the service is expected to be slow. The number of Live Dealer games will be limited by the number of available tables and dealers; for casinos offering computer generated games, these restrictions are immaterial. Furthermore, Live Dealer games are expected to move at a much more sluggish pace compared to their virtual counterparts, slowing down the speed at which the casino can expect the cash to flow.
It is most likely that the Live Dealer services were launched with a cross promotional marketing effort in mind, instead of bringing in large sums of money through the online offering, the live dealer feature is expected to encourage players to visit the Golden Nugget casino in Atlantic City triggering a bigger impact on land-based revenues.