The New Jersey online gambling industry has expanded the reach of its pioneering Live Dealer games. BetfairCasino.com has joined forces with online gambling partner Golden Nugget Casino to offer the format, becoming only the second site in the regulated US online gambling space to do so.
Betfair officially opened its Live Dealer lobby on May 18, 2017.
UK-based Betfair might not have been a household name in New Jersey until its regulated US online gambling site went live in 2013, but its ties to the market extend back years further.
The operator, which currently comprises one half of the power duo Paddy Power Betfair, first entered the US back in 2009, when it purchased the dedicated horse racing digital cable and satellite television network TVG Network.
Through that setup it took over 4NJBets, an online wagering platform that allows users to place bets on horse races from over 150 tracks. Betfair has operated the site since 2013.
Here is the breakdown on Betfair’s online live dealer games:
|Number of Live Dealer Tables||2||1||1|
|Hands/Spins Per Hour (Approximate)||50||40||55|
|Best Bet For Players||Bet Behind||Single number bet||Banker bet|
|Betfair Bonus Code||No Code Needed||No Code Needed||No Code Needed|
Despite its success in the international and US markets, Betfair had a bit of a rough ride in the early goings of the NJ online gambling industry. Its online poker site never gained any traction in the competitive market and was promptly shut down in December 2014, after just one year of operation.
On the online casino site, Betfair fared better but was hamstrung by its partnership to failing Trump Plaza. When Trump Plaza shuttered its doors in September, Betfair was an operator without a home base. Interestingly enough, this would prove a blessing in disguise.
Six weeks after forging a temporary alignment with Caesars Entertainment in October 2014, Betfair found a permanent home with upstart Golden Nugget Casino. Under the Golden Nugget umbrella, Betfair began to thrive.
These days Betfair is the most successful non-Atlantic City branded site in the New Jersey online casino market, with good reason. Not only does it offer a tremendous amount of game diversity, but its lobby boasts the most exclusive titles of any NJ-based site.
Many of its titles simply cannot be found on Atlantic City floors, and that’s something of a novelty in an industry where most operators try to closely mimic the land-based gambling experience.
More good news: Finding exclusive titles, or any game for that matter, is never a chore, as Betfair Casino is smartly designed and user-friendly, with games organized by a variety of helpful filters.
Learn more in our short video below:
For residents of New Jersey, making the long trek down to Atlantic City is not always an option. Online gambling represents a convenient alternative, as the games can be played at the flick of a switch from any PC, Mac, or mobile device.
The thing is, despite all the safeguards in place to ensure game integrity, not all players are entirely comfortable playing their favorite table games against a computer. Either that or they relish the social aspects of table gaming.
Here’s where Live Dealer comes in. Live Dealer games are a true convergence of online and live, affording players the convenience of playing from wherever they desire, while also allowing them to play with real playing devices, against live dealers.
In addition, Live Dealer integrates or simulates many of the social aspects found live into the online setting, making for an upbeat and exhilarating gambling experience.
Although Live Dealer games were popularized internationally years ago, they didn’t make their debut in the New Jersey online gambling market until August 11, 2016. On that historic day, Golden Nugget Casino launched its in-house studio, and the Live Dealer format in New Jersey was born.
Since, the format’s popularity dictated the need for expansion, resulting in more Live Dealer tables being added and expanded running hours.
And now Betfair Casino had entered the mix, becoming the second NJ online casino site to offer the format.
Instead of launching its own independent venture, Betfair Casino made the prudent move of partnering up with Golden Nugget Casino for its Live Dealer games.
Betfair Casino shares a studio space, as well as dealers and most tablets, with Golden Nugget Casino. The operator even shares the same recently expanded hours for its Live Dealer games with Golden Nugget Casino.
Taking this approach afforded Betfair the opportunity to get its Live Dealer games off the ground quickly, while also tapping into a proven and successful product.
But that doesn’t mean they’ll be absolutely no difference between playing Live Dealer on Golden Nugget or Betfair, as each offers their own unique loyalty schemes, no deposit bonuses, and first-time deposit offers.
At present, Betfair’s Live Dealer rollout is limited to four tables and three games: two tables of Blackjack complete with side wagers, and one each of American Roulette and Dragon Bonus Baccarat.
Betfair shares liquidity with Golden Nugget Casino for all its tables, while Golden Nugget Casino has retained exclusivity for one of its three Live Dealer Blackjack tables.
Betfair Casino will feature two Live Dealer Blackjack tables. Players will notice that the minimum wager of $10 is low compared to Atlantic City standards, where it’s near impossible to play for less than $15 per hand, and perhaps as much as $25 on weekends and during special events. For the low roller, this is a welcome nuance.
The bet spread for Live Dealer Blackjack should also appeal to high rollers, who can bet as much as $1,000 per hand, and can play multiple hands, should there be an available spot.
As far as the gaming rules, they’re middle of the road:
This works out to a house edge of just over 0.7 percent, assuming proper playing strategy.
Live Dealer Blackjack players have a slew of side betting options:
On a side, it’s worth noting that Bet Behind is a natural fit for Live Dealer Blackjack, as is helps to eliminate the frustration associated with waiting for a seat. Now, players don’t have to sit idly by in the hopes that someone gets up — the action can begin as soon as they open up the stream.
Not only that, but the house edge for Bet Behind is the same as it is for the main game — just 0.72 percent. That’s hard, if not impossible to beat, for a side bet.
Betfair Casino spreads the American version of Live Dealer Roulette, meaning the wheel features two zeroes. This is obviously not as good a game as the single zero (European) version, but the house edge of 5.3 percent is still not much worse than it is for most other table games.
And because roulette doesn’t require player skill, it serves as a suitable introduction to the gambling world. More good news for new gamblers: they can wager as little as $1 (or as much as $1,000) on a spin.
By contrast, at Atlantic City it’s difficult to find roulette games where players aren’t forced to ante up at least $10 per betting round.
The Live Dealer version of baccarat on Golden Nugget is the commission version, offering an attractive house edge on banker bets of 1.06 percent. On winning banker bets, the house takes a 5 percent commission.
Players bets aren’t too much worse than banker plays — the house edge is 1.24 percent. Just avoid the tie bet, as the edge on this wager is a whopping 14.4 percent.
Betfair also offers a Dragon Bonus side wager, where players are 1:1 on naturals (8 or 9), or when they win by significant margins of 4 points or more. Payouts for winning margin bets range from 2:1 all the way up to 30:1.
The bet spread for Live Dealer Baccarat is the same as roulette, $1 through $1,000.
Unfortunately, Live Dealer games on BetfairCasino.com do not run round-the-clock like they do in Atlantic City. However, all the prime time hours are covered.
Live Dealer games are available daily from 3 p.m. through 3 a.m. Eastern Time, which are the same times they run on Golden Nugget Casino.
Note that when Live Dealer first launched on Golden Nugget, the hours were only 5 p.m. – 1 a.m. on weekdays. Given the recent trend toward expansion, it’s conceivable that Live Dealer games will soon run 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
It really doesn’t matter whether players prefer desktops, laptops, mobile devices for their online gambling, as Betfair’s Live Dealer games support them all.
Betfair Live Dealer is currently available for PC, Mac, and iOS and Android-powered smartphones. Presently, players cannot play Live Dealer on tablets, although tablet support is in the pipeline.
Betfair is committed to providing its online players with an immersive experience that bares a strong similarity to playing in a live casino. Live Dealer accomplishes just that.
The format is compelling to land-based casino players, because now they have an option that looks, plays, and feels like the real thing. And of the variables that differ, most (virtual betting, play from anywhere) work to make for a more pleasurable gambling experience.
Live Dealer is also a great way for online-only and new players to get accustomed to playing in live settings, as they’ll be nothing preventing them from looking up the rules and best strategies on the fly. The same really can’t be said for a live casino, where players must put their smart devices away between hands.
Thanks to Live Dealer, newbies can also learn the standard rules of etiquette while hiding anonymously behind a computer screen.
Of course, we understand that some players may have their trepidations about playing games online. But rest assured, Live Dealer (and all legal online gambling games in New Jersey) are overseen by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement — the same committee that has governed Atlantic City’s gaming industry for 40 years.