For the first time in the history of online gambling, US-licensed live dealer casino games are being hosted from American soil, and are available to residents of New Jersey. The Golden Nugget in Atlantic City has teamed up with software developer Ezugi to present live dealer blackjack, baccarat and roulette, directly from the online casino website.
The live dealer casino games are being live streamed from within the Golden Nugget, and are available during the EST hours of 5:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. only. Should the platform become popular enough (or if the shared liquidity deal with the UK actually comes to fruition), those hours will likely be expanded. But for now – with the tables restricted to players physically located in New Jersey – it makes since to invoke an after-business-hours schedule.
The introduction of live dealer games in the Garden State – or any US state, for that matter – may seem like a small step in the overall scheme of things, but it could lead to great progression in the near future. In the global iGaming community, live dealer casinos have been incredibly popular for more than a decade, and it’s likely that other operators will be quick to follow suit.
What Are Live Dealer Games?
The live platform allows online players to log in and access real casino games, streamed live and conducted by real, professional dealers and croupiers, under the same strict supervision of floor managers you’d expect to find in a brick-and-mortar setting.
The only noticeable difference – aside from the fact that players can join in from home (i.e. pants optional) – is that the playing cards are endowed with much larger face values. This makes it easier for everyone to clearly read the value of each card, even if their computer software happens to be a bit lower grade than today’s more sophisticated 1080p HD graphics.
In short, from the comfort of home, players can participate in real-time table games just like they would in a land-based casino.
Live Dealer Casino Games at GoldenNugget
The game variety is pretty standard, and to be honest, there’s nothing too special about the software. Ezugi has been hosting similar tables for years now, live streaming games from studios in Bulgaria and Costa Rica, plus a land-based casino in Cambodia, so the experience and know-how is there, but again, nothing too special compared to other major suppliers like Evolution Gaming or NetEnt.
The live dealer blackjack tables offer player-friendly rules. 8 decks are in play, various side bets are available and a natural blackjack pays the favored 3:2. The baccarat tables are the usual Punto Banco variety, with standard payouts and a Dragon Bonus side bet.
The live dealer roulette tables are the only disappointment, as Golden Nugget chose to offer only American Roulette, with the dreaded Double Zero (00) that gives the house a higher edge on every possible wager. Hopefully, when other US online casinos follow in their footsteps to promote live dealer casino games, the presence of competition will encourage the installment of much more generous European Roulette tables.
In the meantime, it’s hard to complain. This is the first time any American players have been privy to US-licensed and regulated live dealer casino games. We can only hope it catches on, and more US iGaming sites begin streaming live tables from their brick-and-mortar casinos.