The term “live” isn’t usually used when talking about online gambling, but a company doing business in the state of New Jersey begs to differ.
Evolution Gaming, a supplier of live dealer table games for online/mobile casinos via a live stream, on Nov. 12 received state approval to expand its Live Casino Studio, which houses the tables and dealers used for the offerings. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement granted the company’s request to expand its Live Casino Studio by 3,163 square feet to a total of 5,386 square feet, according to a notice on the agency’s website. In terms of square footage, it’s a substantial bolstering of the space.
The expansion will be used to house 26 additional “internet gaming tables,” the notice stated. Among the 26 tables will be one “Money Wheel” table, one “Side Bet City” table, and 24 blackjack tables. The notice didn’t state how many tables the studio currently has. The studio made its debut in 2018 with 10 tables.
Evolution, which has many partners in the nascent U.S. online gambling space, was eyeing an expansion as soon as it opened the studio, per a presser.
“Now we have a fantastic Live Casino studio in New Jersey — with a wide choice of live games from day one, and ample room for expansion and the rapid ramping up of services to meet our new US licensees’ needs,” Evolution CEO Martin Carlesund said last year. “We are now extremely well placed to support our licensees as they acquire and grow market share in the exciting new US Live Casino market.”
Per the DGE, the Hard Rock Security Department is responsible for the security of the studio. The studio is housed in the casino formerly known as the Trump Taj Mahal. The DGE will have a final inspection of the space before it can be used for gaming activity.
Evolution Gaming earlier this month uploaded a video to its YouTube channel showing off the studio.
Games becoming more popular?
Evolution’s expansion suggests that the games are performing well for its partners.
Live dealer online table games, common in Europe, didn’t enter the New Jersey online gambling scene until August 2016, about three years after iGaming commenced in the state. Golden Nugget was the first to wade into those waters with its own streaming studio in a partnership with software provider Ezugi, which later sold to Evolution in November of last year.
The DGE doesn’t release revenue figures for live dealer online table games. It also doesn’t provide public data on the split between online table games, live dealer or otherwise, and online slots.
While we can’t quantify the success of live dealer online table games in the U.S., another sign that points to their initial success in the fledgling U.S. online gambling market is Evolution’s recent approval in the state of Pennsylvania for the offerings. It will have multiple partners in the Keystone State as well.
In October, Evolution reached a deal with Flutter Entertainment, the upcoming owner of The Stars Group.
Recent industry-wide enhancements to the offerings include making the games available 24/7, a live chat function with the dealers, and even streaming from an actual casino floor.
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