It has been a long strategic process in gaining a strong US-based foothold for Evolution Gaming, with the firm becoming the first live casino provider to be granted a New Jersey Preliminary Waiver approval in 2013.
More recent manoeuvres has seen the firm establish its tenth global studio within the Garden State, enhancing its North American presence following its Canadian launch in Vancouver in January.
Seemingly embracing this period of growth, being undertaken by many an organisation, CasinoBeats caught up with James Stern, Evolution’s director of business development & land-based sales, to discuss moves undertaken thus far and future possibilities.
“…we are excited to roll out our world-class live casino games to the players in New Jersey”
CasinoBeats: How pleasing is it to have partnered with so many organisations within New Jersey thus far? What does it say about Evolution’s strength and live casino’s possibilities?
James Stern: It has been an incredible launch for us. In terms of partners, we have already managed to close a significant portion of top online and land-based operators in New Jersey from day one. 888casino, Resorts Casino Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, PlaySugarHouse.com operated by Rush Street Interactive and Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City are among already signed operators, and there are more in the pipeline.
This really is testament to how highly esteemed our product portfolio is, we are excited to roll out our world-class live casino games to the players in New Jersey.
“…we never operate a ‘one size fits all’ approach to…”
A large part of this is owed to the fact that we never operate a ‘one size fits all’ approach to what we do on these types of projects, or with any of our customers, something that clearly sets us apart from our competition.
We already have a number of Evolution Dual Play (on-premise and online) Roulette tables for the Atlantic City gaming floors of Resorts Casino Hotel, Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City. The land-based sector represents an important market opportunity for us, both in the US and elsewhere.
In Europe, we have seen our Dual Play convergence tables adopted by the cream of land-based casinos — iconic venues such as The Ritz Club, The Hippodrome and many more. We expect to see healthy growth in Dual Play tables, located on gaming floors of land-based casinos, and allowing online players to play at the same table alongside on-premise players.
“We also have ample room for expansion”
CB: Are partnerships with casinos, via live casino and Dual Play, a strategy that is to be adopted for further expansion across the US?
JS: Now we have a fantastic live casino studio in New Jersey — with a wide choice of live games from day one including; American (Double Zero) Roulette, Blackjack with side bets and Bet Behind, Blackjack, Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker, plus Slingshot Auto Roulette. We are extremely well placed to support our licensees as they acquire and grow market share in the exciting new US live casino market. Our aim is to provide a state of the art live casino experience for players in New Jersey, and hopefully more states in the future – even though that will probably take some time.
We also have ample room for expansion and the possibility to support the rapid ramping up of services to meet our new US licensees’ needs, whether this may be through further game launches and additional tables, to adding dedicated tables for licensees that can be used by operators for live sporting event promotions, and to cross-promote land-based casino attractions, for example, all form part of the studio’s expansion plans.
Based on current regulation, we are also monitoring Pennsylvania, and talking to a number of partners in the state about the opportunity for them to access the tables from the New Jersey studio, and further enhance their offering with Dual Play installations on their casino floors.
“We look forward to the next steps of this journey”
Our Dual Play solutions also open the door to a whole new player base, with all the New Jersey Dual Plays available B2B, allowing our European operators to offer these tables to their players, which is an exciting development.
This means that players can play at Resorts Hotel Casino, the first casino in the US outside of Nevada to be licensed, or from two of the newest on The Atlantic City Boardwalk – Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino.
In the 12 years since Evolution first embarked on its journey to revolutionise the nascent live casino market, we’ve developed and launched a stream of landmark solutions and award-winning products.
We have a very strong presence and leadership position in Europe, and we are looking to replicate that in key strategic markets, such as New Jersey. We are constantly monitoring developments in new territories, and we will monitor any developments in other states in the US closely as they happen.
We always endeavour to retain our unrivalled track record in rapid roll-out of live casino services in new markets by very careful research, monitoring and due diligence.
So far, employment opportunities have been created for 50-plus people in our New Jersey studio. Recruitment continues, and further jobs will be created as studio operations expand. We look forward to the next steps of this journey!