When the Golden Nugget New Jersey online casino launched the state’s first live dealer games on August 11, the site’s operators were cautiously optimistic about the technology’s potential to drive traffic.
Fast forward five months, and the introduction of live-streamed table games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette has driven record rates of growth for the Golden Nugget New Jersey brand.
Thomas Winter, who serves as the Golden Nugget’s Vice President of Online Gaming, spoke with Steve Ruddock of Online Poker Report during a December interview to discuss the impact of live dealer games on his platform’s overall performance:
“A material share of live dealer players are new to online table games, which speaks for the unique appeal of this innovative product.
Our players acquisition is very strong, at levels not seen since early 2014. And our RNG table game revenues are up since we started offering live dealer. The results are exceeding our expectations.”
The live dealer online gambling concept was introduced in recent years to bridge the gap between brick and mortar gameplay and the random number generator (RNG) driven virtual tables online. Trained human dealers operate genuine casino equipment, from cards to roulette wheels, while running a table like they would in a traditional casino. The proceedings are filmed and live streamed to players using a particular online casino, who are able to place real money wagers and follow the action in real time.
Within the Golden Nugget Atlantic City property, a special room is cordoned off and utilized for the online casino’s live dealer product.
As Winter mentioned in his interview with Ruddock, a healthy portion of the players partaking in live dealer games on the Golden Nugget New Jersey site are participating in online gambling for the first time. According to Winter, live dealer play offers the perfect entry point for players who aren’t entirely comfortable with purely digital RNG online wagering:
“When we survey brick and mortar patrons, the main reason why a majority of them have not signed up for an online casino is a lack of trust. Live dealer is the best possible answer to their concerns.”
Winter also spoke to the ability of live dealer games to attract new players who wind up sampling other aspects of the online casino, such as virtual slot machines:
“Even as they come to play live dealer, new players also enjoy our large selection of slots.”
Upon launch, Golden Nugget New Jersey spread three live dealer tables – one for each of the main table games (blackjack, baccarat, and roulette) – for eight hours per day. That production has grown slightly to nine hours a day, while the blackjack section of the studio has added two more tables.
Winter also told Online Poker Report that the venue plans to triple its studio size within the next six months, while also exploring partnerships with competing brands to share studio space and reduce overhead costs:
“We are in discussions with a few potential partners who understand the benefits of offering a differentiating product but also recognize that the New Jersey market alone is probably not big enough to justify the overheads of two studios. This should offset the potential negative impact of extra competition for our brand.”