Live dealer has finally arrived in Pennsylvania.
Evolution Gaming is holding a two-day soft launch for online live dealer games. Two iGaming operators will be the first to have live dealer. To start, the offerings will include blackjack and roulette at the following Pennsylvania online casinos:
- BetRivers Casino (on both BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse)
- DraftKings Casino (through its partnership with Hollywood Casino)
A rep from Hollywood Casino said it also planned to soft launch live dealer on Thursday, Oct. 22.
Live dealer arrives in PA
Soft launch dates and times for live dealer for BetRivers and DraftKings are:
- Oct 21: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Oct. 22: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
All online casino games in Pennsylvania are regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). Games must also adhere to approved rules, side wagers and payout tables. The arrival of live dealer is similar from technical standpoint, but of course, with real-life dealers involved, it requires additional work to reach approval.
PGCB Director of Communications Doug Harbach commented:
“Testing and regulating live dealer studio games is similar [to] other online casino games from a technology standpoint and is actually similar in many aspects to table games in land-based casinos except there is no cash or gaming chips and, of course, players are not physically present.
“Since there is a human element in this online gaming, the PGCB must license studio staff who operate the games as we would dealers in a land-based casino. Also, similar to table games setups at land-based casinos, we have to ensure adequate security and surveillance in the studio that allows us to monitor the live dealer and help us ensure the operator conducts table game operations in accordance with PGCB regulations.”
BetRivers live dealer
Live dealer games at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are available on mobile, tablet or desktop. The library features low- and high-stakes blackjack games (with side bets such as 21 +3 and Bet Behind).
- Infinite Blackjack
- First-Person Roulette
- First-Person Lightning Roulette
- First-Person Blackjack
BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse continues to lead in the new world of iGaming in Pennsylvania. It was the first to launch an online casino in the state in May 2019.
Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, commented on live dealer’s popularity:
“Many online players prefer live dealer options because they watch the action as it happens … 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. The Evolution-hosted Live Dealer Casino has proven very popular with players at PlaySugarHouse.com in New Jersey. We are confident players in Pennsylvania will love these live action table games too. Extending our partnership with Evolution into PA supports our mission to continually offer our loyal online players the best mix of innovative and entertaining games available.”
Evolution excited about PA
Evolution Gaming received its conditional license from the PGCB as an interactive gaming manufacturer in January 2020. It currently operates live dealer games in New Jersey.
Evolution Gaming planted its flag first in New Jersey when it started offering games in the US.
Johan Nordstrom, chief executive officer, Malta, and chief commercial officer at Evolution, commented:
“RSI is well established as the number one online gaming operator in Pennsylvania, and we are thrilled to partner with the acclaimed online gaming leader and are confident that the Evolution-hosted live dealer casino will be a big hit in this market. On top of an exceptional range of world-class live game-show-style games, classic casino games and exclusive content, we have extensive experience with multiple state-of-the-art live casino studios worldwide. At the player interface level, our blackjack is the fastest, slickest online live blackjack available anywhere, so players get more game rounds and exciting play in every gaming session.”
DraftKings live dealer
Players in PA can access DraftKings casino through the standalone casino app, the DraftKings sportsbook app or via desktop.
DraftKings live dealer selections in PA so far are:
- Blackjack 1: Min bet $25/Max bet $5,000
- Blackjack 2: Min bet $50/Max bet $5,000
- Infinite Blackjack: Min bet $1/Max bet $5,000
- Roulette: Min bet $1/Max bet $2,000
What to expect for live dealer games at PA online casinos
The popularity of such games is hardly surprising, as they take the comfort and convenience of playing from home and combine it with socially interactive elements. Live dealers will be dealing real cards inside an approved studio while you make decisions on your hand from home.
The Evolution studio is located in Philadelphia and will eventually serve a number of PA’s online casinos.
Here’s a look at what is currently on offer for live dealer games at NJ online casinos, hinting at what’s ahead for PA iGaming players. In addition to blackjack and roulette, NJ also has Slingshot Roulette, baccarat, three-card poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em poker.