3 Casinos in West Virginia Launched Live Dealer Games in June

BetRivers Casino WV, DraftKings Casino WV, & BetMGM Casino WV all rolled out live dealer online casino games this month, a testament to the format’s growing popularity.
BetRivers, DraftKings, & BetMGM Casino rolled out live dealer online casino games in WV this month, showing the format's growing popularity.
June 30, 2022

West Virginia online casino players went from having zero live dealer options at the beginning of the month to three after BetRivers Casino, DraftKings Casino, and BetMGM Casino launched live dealer games in the state.

The separate launches in the Mountain State illustrate the growing popularity of live dealer games at online casinos. So far, operators in four of the six US states with regulated online casino gaming — Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and now West Virginia — have capitalized on the trend, opening live dealer studios in those states and, in some cases, their own private branded studios.

Live dealer games have not yet launched in Connecticut and are illegal in Delaware.

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Operators Jump Into Live Dealer Games in WV

On Wednesday, BetMGM announced that it had launched live dealer games on BetMGM Casino WV and said its offering includes “the state’s first private blackjack table.”

BetMGM said infinite blackjack, speed baccarat, three-card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and versions of roulette would be available through its partnership with Evolution Gaming. BetMGM operates under the land-based casino license of the private Greenbrier resort.

Last Friday, DraftKings announced that players on DraftKings Casino WV would have access to live dealer games for the first time. The new live dealer offerings included Baccarat, infinite blackjack, and roulette.

DraftKings, which operates under the casino license of the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, also announced that other online casino games would be made available to players — including its popular Rocket game, developed in-house and until now only available in Michigan and New Jersey.

The offering of live dealer games by DraftKings comes exactly two weeks after BetRivers Casino WV did the same.

On June 10, BetRivers — a brand of Rush Street Interactive (RSI) that operates under the Mountaineer Casino license — became the first online casino to offer live dealer games in West Virginia.

BetRivers launched live dealer games through a partnership with Evolution, which live streams the games from its studio in neighboring Pennsylvania. The games on offer include Baccarat, lightning roulette, low- and high-stakes blackjack, three-card poker, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.

New Jersey, Pennsylvania Have Offered Live Dealer Games for Years

Live dealer games have been available in New Jersey since August 2016, in Pennsylvania since October 2020, and in Michigan since July 2021.

Golden Nugget Casino NJ was the first to market with live dealer games in the Garden State while several operators — including BetRivers and DraftKings — launched live dealer games at the same time in the Keystone State.

There have been many changes within the last year.

RSI’s SugarHouse Casino NJ began offering live dealer blackjack from its branded studio in September 2021. The following month, Evolution announced it would open a live dealer studio for Barstool Casino NJ, and launch live dealer games in New Jersey and Pennsylvania with Betway.

In January, New Jersey saw PointsBet Casino NJ launch live dealer games, while Unibet Casino NJ offers Eagles Live Dealer Blackjack — a live dealer game themed around the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.

In Pennsylvania, BetRivers Casino PA began offering live dealer games in September 2021 via its own branded studio. Evolution powers the facility in Philadelphia.

BetMGM Casino PA rolled out Philadelphia 76ers-branded live roulette and blackjack — two games also offered through Evolution — in February.

Evolution announced in July 2021 that it had formed partnerships with nine operators in Michigan — Barstool, BetMGM, BetRivers, DraftKings, FanDuel, Golden Nugget, PokerStars, TwinSpires, and William Hill — for live dealer games. Wynn later joined the mix. All the games are streamed from Evolution’s studio in Southfield, a Detroit suburb.

PointsBet Casino MI partnered with Evolution for live dealer games last December. The Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort did likewise earlier this month. Also in June, BetMGM opened its own private studio in Southfield with Evolution.

FanDuel entered into its partnership for live dealer games with Evolution in February.

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Live Dealer Games Not Available in Connecticut or Delaware

Connecticut has yet to launch live dealer games. They are not allowed in Delaware.

In Connecticut, regulations that the state’s Department wrote last year of Consumer Protection (CDCP) included a provision where live dealer games could be offered through a studio physically located in another state — but the regulator only allowed such a setup through March 31, 2022. Studios must now be situated in the state.

Meanwhile, none of the three racinos in Delaware — Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington — currently offer live dealer games. “They are not legal per Delaware Code,” Rebecca Satterfield, iGaming Manager for the Delaware Lottery, told US Gaming Review on Thursday.

Delaware’s racinos offer online casino games through an exclusive partnership between 888 and the Delaware Lottery.

The partnership with 888 is interesting because, in neighboring New Jersey, 888casino NJ has been offering live dealer games through a separate arrangement with Evolution since August 2018. The online casino’s live dealer games are provided through Evolution’s studio in Atlantic City.

With the growing popularity of live dealer games in the other online casino states, it’s plausible that the Delaware General Assembly could amend state law to allow them.

If that happens, 888 could either open a new studio in Delaware with Evolution or another provider or win the Delaware Lottery’s blessing to use the existing Evolution studio in Atlantic City. Either option could figure into contract renewal talks — the current partnership was formed in 2013 and extended for an additional two years in 2020.

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