Evolution Makes It Two: Live Dealer Coming To BetMGM, Too

Posted on August 28, 2020

BetMGM is in on the live dealer action, as Evolution Gaming announced a second partnership with a Michigan online gambling operator on Friday.

The deal with BetMGM suggests live dealer online casino games should be very prevalent in Michigan when online casinos launch this year.

Last week, Evolution Gaming announced a similar deal with PointsBet, another of the global brands staking a claim in the Great Lakes State.

Michigan, as the 10th most populous state and third-biggest with legalized online gambling, will be a key market for operators. BetMGM, which exists as a partnership between MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings, is among the brands betting big on Michigan.

“We are honored to have been chosen by BetMGM to be partners in the fast-developing US live gaming market,” said Johan Nordstrom, CEO of Evolution Gaming Malta, in the release. “This is a natural extension of our existing relationship with GVC Holdings’ brands.”

Live dealer studios coming to Michigan

Michigan’s draft rules stipulate that live dealer studios must be inside state lines.

As stated by the draft rules: “The gaming environment used to conduct remote/proxy player or similar games must be located in this state in a location approved by the board.”

The same stipulation exists in Pennsylvania, where Evolution will also have to build a studio.Per the release, Evolution is currently building a PA studio that should launch later this year.

In New Jersey, live dealers didn’t pop up until nearly three years after online casinos launched. The announcement noted that New Jersey’s live dealer launch will come before Michigan and Pennsylvania.

The release did not stipulate a studio location in Michigan. Though, hosting it at MGM Grand Detroit would be a no-brainer for the partnership.

You might be giving up some valuable floor space at the most popular casino in Michigan, but the prominence of the studio giving exposure for the new online casino product for MGM’s casino visitors may more than make up for it.

The draft rules were published last month and will be subject to a public hearing on Sept. 23 as part of the rulemaking process.

What are live dealer online casino games?

Live dealer casino games simulate the live casino experience.

You are playing with a dealer who is actually dealing the game, and you can interact with them.

Online casino games are games can be fast and lack interaction. Live dealer games have a social component and move slower.

Some players have more trust in live dealer games because there is a persoon leading the action instead of a random number generator.

No word on if MGM layoffs will impact Michigan

In other company news, MGM Resorts International said Friday it is permanently laying off 18,000 temporarily furloughed employees nationwide.

PlayMichigan reached out to MGM Grand Detroit and corporate reps about whether any Michigan workers will be impacted. As of Friday afternoon, they had not responded. According to CNBC, MGM had 70,000 employees at the start of the year.

The company will cover health benefits for furloughed employees through Sept. 30.

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Matt Schoch

A Michigan native, Matt has worked at newspapers in Michigan, Missouri and the Virgin Islands. A versatile sports reporter, Matt has covered sailing on the Great Lakes, cricket in the Caribbean, high school and pro playoffs, and the Olympics in Rio. He's also the host of the Locked On Pistons Podcast and producer of a documentary on Emoni Bates. A former blackjack dealer, Matt has studied the industry from all sides.

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