Oliver Bartlett, Director of Gaming, BetMGM
Branded live dealer studios help BetMGM remain the online casino market leader. So said Oliver Bartlett, BetMGM’s gaming director, in an interview with Online Poker Report. We spoke with him about how the New Jersey-based operator uses the streaming service to benefit its iGaming customers.
BetMGM is only a year older than the first custom live dealer studio. It formed as a joint venture in July 2018. In July 2019, its competitor DraftKings Casino debuted the first custom, single-brand live dealer studio in New Jersey. DraftKings partnered with Malta-based Evolution as its service provider.
However, BetMGM quickly embraced the streaming option for its iGaming products, also opting to contract with Evolution.
The two companies that formed BetMGM are Isle of Man-headquartered Entain and Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International. The joint venture brought its branded live dealer studios online in 2020 in New Jersey and 2021 in Pennsylvania.
The operator also added branded live dealer tables into its Michigan online casino offerings last year, but is waiting for regulators to allow it to launch a full studio.
Bartlett said branded live dealer studios are part of the strategy helping BetMGM maintain its leadership in the crowded US online casino market, where it led with 29% of the market share during Q4 2021.
This image shows a live dealer running a blackjack game on a table bearing the BetMGM Casino and Borgata Casino logos. She’s in a private room of a branded live dealer studio in Pennsylvania.
Below, OPR‘s questions are in bold and Bartlett’s answers follow.
How do branded live dealer studios help you with brand differentiation?
BetMGM’s live dealer studios give players access to the feel of a live casino table and the ability to interact with dealers and hundreds of other players in real time from the comfort of their own homes. The studios not only help us forge a tighter relationship between our players and our brand, it guarantees them seats at our tables. By managing operating hours and table limits, we can cater exactly to our own players’ needs.
Over the years, we’ve worked diligently to establish BetMGM as the top online casino operator in the US. We’ve built the industry’s largest jackpots and games portfolio, leveraging our popular online sportsbook offering and utilizing the expertise of MGM Resorts and Entain. Through the strong branding and marketing of our live dealer offering, particularly our live dealer private tables, we remain the leader in the space.
Our live dealer studios launched in New Jersey in 2020 and in Pennsylvania in 2021. Our studio in Michigan is not live yet, as the industry is awaiting approval from the state’s Gaming Control Board.
What is the brand experience?
Our unmistakable studios bring the look-and-feel of our apps and their RNG table games to life. A multi-brand look, featuring BetMGM Casino and Borgata Casino, is currently live in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania – since we operate both brands there. Future studios will be tailored to in-market platform branding.
Does it help or hurt your brand differentiation that other operators now have branded live dealer?
When overall awareness of live dealer offerings increases, players will naturally seek out the best. We’re confident in our track record and product offering and believe that we are that option.
What’s your most recent live dealer news?
In July 2021, BetMGM introduced generic live dealer tables to its platform in Michigan.
What else should OPR readers know about your live dealer?
Live dealer presents a huge growth opportunity for the US states that have regulated iGaming. There is so much potential for this vertical of the industry and we’re just scratching the surface.