The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has proposed a number of new rules, one of which would authorize the bet behind side bet for Live Dealer Blackjack games.
The inclusion of this feature would mark a significant step forward for the two NJ online casinos that currently offer Live Dealer — Betfair Casino and Golden Nugget Casino — enabling them to service a far wider range of blackjack patrons.
What is Bet Behind?
Bet Behind, which was first popularized at European Live Dealer casinos, acts as a sort of quasi-solution to waiting lists at blackjack tables. If enabled, players that have entered the game room but who are not seated at one of the seven available table spots can place wagers on another player’s hand.
Going further, players that are seated at the table but who wish to hedge their bets can also bet on another hand’s outcome, thus increasing their action per hand.
Bet Behind is both beneficial for the operator and the player. On the operator side it allows for significantly more action per hand, thus increasing profit margins on what is otherwise a low margin game.
For players, it virtually eliminates the frustration of waiting to play. Not to mention, minimum wagers for Bet Behind are typically way lower than they are for the main game — allowing budget grinders to get in on the cheap.
There are some obvious drawbacks to the format, however, the most notable being that the Bet Behind player will have no control over the action. Instead, they are at the mercy of the main game player. Should that player make questionable strategy decisions, such as hitting a 12 against a 6, then that decision falls to the Bet Behind player as well.
What’s more, if the main game player doubles down or splits, then the Bet Behind player is obligated to do so as well. Therefore, Bet Behind players may want to watch a few rounds before they choose their horse, preferencing players that make fundamentally sound decisions at the table.
Significance for Betfair Casino and Golden Nugget Casino
These minor snags hardly take away from the benefits of going live with Bet Behind. Until recently, whenever Betfair or Golden Nugget needed to address the overpopulation problem at the Live Dealer Blackjack tables, they either widened the hours of operation or increased the number of tables.
This shouldn’t be necessary going forward, as Bet Behind enables a single table to service a theoretically infinite number of players, much the way the sites’ Live Dealer Roulette and Baccarat tables can.
On a macrocosmic level, Bet Behind breaks new ground, as it’s the first format that hasn’t been reproduced either live or online. In turn, it elevates Live Dealer beyond a simple juxtaposition of brick and mortar and virtual gaming.
Other proposed rules
In addition to addressing Live Dealer, the document set forth by the DGE proposed a number of other new rules:
- Permanently authorizes progressive slot jackpots
- Sets forth “requirements for remote gaming systems,” requiring entities that provide game content to “ensure the security of their systems.”
- Proposes that casinos employ information security officers, responsible for upholding the integrity of casino computer systems.
- Requires that casinos clearly display Responsible Gaming logos, for easy access to the Responsible Gaming page.
- A PO Box would be no longer be sufficient to create an online gambling account.
According to the DGE these rules, and others, would help to “create more opportunities for Internet gaming providers to present new content to the public while ensuring the State has the ability to correctly certify revenue and collect gaming tax,” all at a nominal cost to the casinos themselves.