A new market
Pennsylvania is just the second state in the country to launch live dealer casino games, with Evolution opening its new studio in Philadelphia on Wednesday.
A two-day soft launch of these live dealer games with three online casinos in Pennsylvania is to begin on Thursday. Evolution is supplying the games to Rush Street Interactive’s PlaySugarHouse and BetRivers online casino brands, as well as DraftKings.
initially launching six different titles at varying stakes
Evolution is the market leader in live dealer games. It is initially launching six different titles at varying stakes: Blackjack, First Person Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, Roulette, First Person Lightning Roulette, and First Person Roulette.
After testing finishes, the plan is to launch many more titles. As per Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board regulations, the hours in which games can operate during a soft launch are limited. Once there is full approval, the live dealer games should be operational 24/7.
An exciting launch
Speaking about the launch of live games was Rush Street Interactive (RSI) president Richard Schwartz. He said: “A live dealer game is the closest you can get online to playing in a land-based casino and we’re thrilled to be the first to offer players in Pennsylvania the opportunity to virtually sit and play on Evolution’s world renowned live tables.”
Schwartz went on to highlight that RSI is established as the leading online casino operator in Pennsylvania and he believes that the new live dealer games will be a big hit. The PlaySugarHouse brand already offers live casino games from Evolution on its New Jersey platform.
In an interim third-quarter report, Evolution CEO Martin Carlesund discussed the Pennsylvania launch, saying: “We continue to stay focused on further strengthening our North American footprint and it makes me proud to say that we now are live in Pennsylvania.”
Growth of live dealer games
Live dealer games have become increasingly popular in recent years. The game type first came to the US in the New Jersey market. Ezugi was the first supplier to open a live dealer studio in the US, doing so at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City. In 2018, Evolution also opened a facility in New Jersey and subsequently acquired Ezugi.
DraftKings already has a partnership with Evolution in New Jersey to stream exclusive sports-themed games from a custom studio with dealers decked out in DraftKings-branded uniforms.The main draw of live dealer games is that people can play their favorite table games from anywhere and still feel like they are sitting at the table in real-life. Players can see the real-life dealer operating the games on the HD-quality stream.
Live dealer streams cannot cross state lines, so Evolution has to build a studio in a state before launching. This is why Pennsylvania residents had to wait until now to start playing live dealer games, despite the online casino sector launching in July 2019.
Evolution is also building a studio in Michigan; the online casino industry should launch in the state in the near future. The company has been enjoying success of late, with its latest quarterly profit almost doubling year-on-year to €79.4m ($93.9m).