On August 11, 2016, the Golden Nugget Casino in New Jersey made online gaming history in the United States when they became the first online casino to offer live dealers for blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. With the legalization of online betting in Las Vegas and New Jersey, the Golden Nugget is looking for innovative ways to capitalize on the boom of new players that like being able to play casino games at home.
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To begin, the Golden Nugget is offering select games with a live dealer each day from 5 p.m. EST until 1 a.m. EST. So, far the results have been promising. The online casino has already expanded the number of tables available to online players.
Using live dealers has been done in online casinos overseas, but those now being used at the Golden Nugget are a first for the United States. A complex software system and studio inside the physical casino are used to broadcast the dealers to players at home. The live dealer actually shuffles and deals cards or drops a real roulette ball. In addition, there is a live chat feature which allows players at the table to “talk” to one another or the dealer just as they would at a live table game. This level of interaction is something Golden Nugget hopes will boost the overall appeal of the games.
The other upside of using a live dealer for blackjack and other games is that it helps to increase player trust in the online games. Some players are naturally skeptical of online blackjack because they cannot see how the cards are dealt. Many of them doubt the random number generators that are used in an electronic game. Using a live dealer in online blackjack at the Golden Nugget means that the game more accurately reflects how it is played in a casino. In the electronic game a single deck is used and the cards are shuffled after each hand, essentially rendering card counting impossible. With a live dealer, cards are dealt by hand from a shoe containing multiple decks just as they are in the live casino. One other notable difference, however, is that the table limits on games with a live dealer are higher. For blackjack, the Golden Nugget has implemented a $5 minimum bet on blackjack.
It is fair to say that the eyes of the entire United States are watching to see how the Golden Nugget and other online casinos in the US fare. Legalized online betting has been a matter of interest for quite a while now, and successful programs in Las Vegas and Atlantic City could provide the best support for legalizing gambling in all 50 states.