How Live Dealer Games are Changing the US Casino Industry
When states across the US began legalizing the online casino niche of the gambling industry (most before this only offered online sports betting), there was a particular curiosity as to how the market might react.
States such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania were quick to gather a lot of popularity in the online sports betting markets; sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel each enjoyed a lot of success.
What has been and continues to be the case in the US is that online sports betting faces much less opposition than live online casinos from a legalization perspective; often, states find that passing a bill for the former first is a lot easier.
This is where it becomes a complication. Popular online brands such as DraftKings and FanDuel essentially market themselves as a 'sportsbook'; however, they also offer online casino products. It means that in states where sports betting is legal, and online casinos aren't, players have access to the casino area of a brand's site.
For many in the US gambling market, it does still feel strange that online casinos are still relatively in their infancy in America, especially considering markets such as the UK, where this has been popular for over two decades.
Online casino and sports betting were both legalized at the same time in the UK, though it wasn't until a few years later that a game-changing product was introduced that essentially revolutionized the industry. Live dealer gambling is tentatively being integrated into casinos in the US markets.
How Could Live Dealer Games Affect the US Market?
There are numerous states where online casinos have been greeted with a warm reception, though Michigan's iGaming market, which only approved legislation in 2020, has flourished and exceeded all expectations.
The thriving Michigan iGaming market, both on the sports and casino side, has seen a magnificent reception to live dealer games.
There are several software providers around the world that were quick to realize the potential of live dealer games early on, many of which experienced great success amidst significant demand.
It was noticed that players rapidly became drawn to these games due to the similar feel to brick-and-mortar casinos that they offered, one that they could enjoy from the comfort of their own surroundings, using the device of their own choosing.
As the technology behind smartphones became better, these swiftly emerged as a favorite among many players, especially because of the convenience that they offered. Indeed, software providers made mobile devices their main focus when it came to the development of games.
A software provider that has begun to see considerable traction in the US market over the last year with its live dealer products is Authentic Gaming. While it is well-known in a number of markets around the world, the US is one that has started to deliver.
Having recently been acquired by US firm Light & Wonder (previously Scientific Games), it has gone from strength to strength. Its specialist product in the online gambling sector is the live dealer niche - one that it has started to build a solid reputation.
It was recently approved for a license in the state of Michigan, while it is understood that New Jersey will quickly follow, with there being huge scope to add other states in the near future.
Live casino is now truly central in operator product and commercial strategies. This is, of course, in response to the increasing number of players who play live games. In some markets, live dealer games are around half of the overall online casino market, while in others, it's closer to 20%.
For the US market, this has a lot of promise, with many new markets yet to really benefit from live casino games. Despite the fact that traditional online casino games (slots and table games) are already considerably popular - reflected by revenue figures that continue to break records, live dealer games could well take these brands into the US iGaming stratosphere.
Authentic Gaming's Confident Bet on the Lucrative US Casino Industry
Of course, like anything, bringing something new to a market can always be a risk. In this case, it certainly appears measured, at least based on how successful the online casino industry has been. Authentic Gaming is very clearly a brand that believes in its product and already has a substantial portfolio that gives this confidence some credit.
We offer premium, interactive, live-streamed games from land-based casinos and live broadcasting studios. Our live dealer games can be found on more than 300 sites.
According to Forbes, in 2022, the US online gambling market was worth $54.9 billion. Predictions from different sources indicate that this could grow to $105.77 billion by 2032, a staggering number when considering that there are still many states where the industry is yet to be regulated.
Initial signs point to the fact that the live casino sector of the US gambling industry can assist in these figures growing further, especially if it is as popular as some in the sector appear to think.
Authentic Gaming certainly seems to gamblе big on this, and the strategies that they are already implementing reveal that the plan has been well thought out, in addition to the fact that they have a number of unique twists on the product.
"We have a large live dealer portfolio," Bator expanded, "including a vast range of live roulette tables, classic blackjack, multiplayer blackjack, baccarat and game show formats."
Michigan Emerges as a Key Hub for Live Dealer Games
As revealed, Michigan is a state where the company is starting to gain some traction, while for the online casino and sports betting niche, it is already one of the most popular states.
In our Michigan studio, we have a collection of 11 networked games at present. In 2024, we are making significant investments to further enhance the portfolio with big brand game shows and several custom offerings for specific operators.
Delin, meanwhile, emphasized the need to dig deep into individual player preferences when it comes to their live dealer product to offer a more tailored approach that helps to set them apart.
"We go to great lengths to cater to the needs and preferences of local players. We pay attention to all details, such as preferred blackjack side bets of the region and local video streaming infrastructure, plus many other factors. When executed well, live dealer games offer players an unrivaled level of interaction and fun, but core to the experience, especially for classic games like blackjack or roulette, is the enhanced level of trust it brings to players. Seeing is believing, as they say!" he revealed.
Delin seems to believe key for the company moving forward and providing them with an advantage over competitors is that live casino games are a product that operators in the US are beginning to firmly concentrate on. Similar to how operators in other global markets aligned themselves years earlier.
"Live casino is now truly central in operator product and commercial strategies. This is, of course, in response to the increasing number of players who play live games." Delin explained.
Potential of Live Casino Games in the Evolving US Market
Just like the general online gambling industry, this is still in its relative infancy in the US market, though figures continue to break records, even on a consistent basis for some states. It has, essentially, forged a blueprint for success where new potential products for the market are concerned. In other markets, many software providers have identified a need for differentiation in the live casino market in a bid to make their games even more unique.
Evolution Gaming (Evolution) is arguably the leader in this niche, being the first company to break into the live dealer niche. Some of the products that it has developed are industry-leading and as unique as they come, taking it to a new level with products based on gameshows (Dream Catcher).
The US market has, in general, responded well to the online gambling industry (the figures speak for themselves), and there is no reason why the live dealer sector cannot become a leader.
Key states such as New York (which currently only offers online sports betting) are exploring legalizing online casinos, with estimates indicating that this could surpass the billions it has already generated in revenue in just over 18 months. Live dealer games in this market could represent a substantial success, especially considering the fact that there is a limited number of land-based casinos in the state.
It is fair to say that the US market certainly represents a lot of potential for the live dealer sector, based on the response that there has already been. Definitely keep an eye on this sector.