The Borgata online casino network, consisting of Borgata Casino, playMGM and the newly-minted PartyCasino NJ, has upped its game with the addition of a new format: Live Casino, otherwise known as Live Dealer.
NJ Online Gambling reporters reached out to Borgata regarding the launch, and have learned that the games are currently in a trial soft launch phase, with a full rollout expected soon.
This marks the first time in New Jersey that a brand not associated with the Golden Nugget has launched a Live Dealer product.
Well, that’s a bit of a misnomer, as Golden Nugget is clearly involved. To clarify, it appears that Borgata networked sites are leasing the Live Dealer studio space housed at Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City. Borgata is also sharing tables and dealers with the Golden Nugget.
Betfair Casino, which does operate under the Golden Nugget iGaming license, took an equivalent approach with its Live Dealer product, launched in May 2017.
With the addition of Live Dealer games across the Borgata network, that makes it a total of five sites making use of the Golden Nugget’s studio.
Leasing space makes sense for both lessor and tenant. For the tenant, it allows them to get up and running without spending untold dollars on carving out a studio space and paying staff. For the lessor, in this instance Golden Nugget, it takes in regular income from renting out its space.
Borgata is offering nearly all the same games found on Golden Nugget Casino, with the exception of the recently launched Live Casino Floor Roulette, which is currently exclusive to Golden Nugget.
The only other real difference is the number of blackjack tables running.
- Blackjack: Two tables, one featuring a minimum wager of $15, and another a min bet of $20
- Baccarat Dragon Bonus: Minimum bet of $1
- American Roulette: Double zero roulette with a min wager amount of $1
- Casino Hold’em: Min bet $1, max $250 on the ante
A single baccarat, roulette, and Casino Hold’em table can theoretically house dozens of players, so there’s really isn’t a pressing need to expand beyond one table per format.
It is currently unknown whether more blackjack tables will be added. It does seem likely, as Golden Nugget currently supports five.
Borgata Casino has also completed revamped its online casino interface. Now the site lobby is more in line with that players have come to expect from online casinos in New Jersey, and bares an almost perfect resemblance to the interface found on PartyCasino NJ.
This, in addition to Borgata adding a swatch of new and exclusive games recently, including the linked progressive jackpot game Luck O’ The Jackpot, currently featuring a grand prize of $2.36 million.
We see the addition of Live Casino games on Borgata Casino and its affiliates as a strong net positive.
After getting off to a rocket fire start, no doubt fueled by its strong brand recognition, Borgata online casino revenue has flattened out. In the first quarter of 2018, Borgata generated $10.75 million in online casino revenue, good for second place, but trailing Golden Nugget ($23.84 million) by a massive margin. Currently, Borgata only owns a 16.8% share of the market, compared to 25.4% in Q1 2016.
Live Dealer has been a boon for Golden Nugget, which has increased its revenue by 32.3% in Q1 2018 compared to Q1 2017. Likewise, the addition of the format on Borgata networked sites should help to bolster its own revenue, both directly from Live Dealer wagers and by driving live players to digital games.
Borgata will also hold an advantage over Resorts, Tropicana, and Caesars for the time being, as none of them currently offer Live Dealer games. However, that could be changing soon, as Evolution Gaming has indicated in its recent earnings call that it will be launching a NJ-based studio in the second half of this year.