Branching out

As the Ontario online gambling market heats up, BetMGM launched its own live dealer casino games studio this week, to offer more products in the province, starting with six live dealer blackjack tables. The games are operated by Malta-based Evolution, but from BetMGM’s own European studio, using BetMGM’s branding.

BetMGM had already used Evolution’s live dealer games since the kickoff of Ontario online gambling on April 4, but this marks BetMGM’s first branded games from its own, private studio, though it was still built in cooperation with Evolution.

Players will still be able to play the games BetMGM already offered through Evolution, such as first-person casino games, live casino games and games shows, and NetEnt and Red Tiger online slots.

“BetMGM is proud to continue Ontario launch celebrations through the rollout of our dedicated live dealer studio and the expansion of our slot and table games portfolio on BetMGM Casino,” said BetMGM VP of gaming Matthew Sunderland. “Through our live offering, the goal is to strengthen Ontarians’ touchpoints with our iconic, black-and-gold BetMGM brand. By more than doubling our games count through in-house, exclusive games, and relationships with our partners, we’re pleased to bring a larger piece of what’s become the industry’s best portfolio in the U.S. to our new players in Canada.”

This setup is different than what BetMGM and other operators must do in the United States. To spread live dealer games in the US, operators must have studios in each state in which they want to offer said games. Evolution and Playtech have studios in Michigan and New Jersey and thus can offer those games there. Evolution also has studios in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, but the games in the latter have yet to begin.

In Ontario, live dealer games can be streamed from outside the province, as is the case with BetMGM.

More realistic gaming experience

Live dealer games have really picked up steam in the last few years and streaming technology has improved. They appeal to players who, while still gambling on the internet, want to have as close to a real casino experience as possible. From a studio designed expressly for the purpose of streaming such games, an actual, flesh-and-blood human deals games like blackjack in front of a camera. The tables and cards are outfitted with RFID technology (or the like) that allows the cards to be read by a computer.

On the other end, gamblers click buttons to place bets and make decisions just like they would on any other online casino site, but they are also watching the real-life dealer deal the cards and announce results. The technology at the table mixes with the technology on the site to bring together online and live casino play.

The other benefit to live dealer games is that it quashes some of the “online gambling is rigged” talk, as players can actually see the cards being dealt. Some people who might otherwise be skeptical of online gambling are willing to give it a try when they can see what’s happening in front of their eyes.

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