Lauding it as “another major landmark” in its U.S. growth, Sweden-based Evolution Gaming Group AB (publ) (EVO.ST) has become the first provider to launch live casino in the Great Lakes State, after receiving regulator approval from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).
The Swedish gaming company’s July 22, 2021, debut of its purpose-built live casino studio in the Midwestern U.S. state – the 11th worldwide after new Jersey and Pennsylvania – follows the roll out of its NetEnt-branded games with operators within the state at the opening of the online market in January.
Live dealer offering:
Infinite Blackjack, standard Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette and Auto Roulette are currently among the live table games powered by Evolution that are available via live stream to operators’ players in the state, with live casino games and game shows to be added to the offering.
“Our new Michigan studio is one of the biggest and best equipped in the US iGaming market.”
Commercial Director North America for Evolution, Jeff Millar commented on the debut, stating in a company press release that they are “fully committed to the new Michigan market,” and are “delighted to have created such close partnerships with operators” there and will continue to extend their content offering “with further exciting launches over the coming months.”
“Our aim is simple: to excite and entertain players with the best possible choice of world-class gaming and to help operators to maximize their opportunities.”
Growing U.S. presence:
The company opened its first U.S. live casino studio in New Jersey, announcing in August 2018, that those services would be utilized by 888casino, Resorts Casino Hotel, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City, PlaySugarHouse.com operated by Rush Street Interactive (RSI) and Ocean Resort Casino Atlantic City for players in the Garden State. And in October 2020, launching a dedicated live casino studio in Pennsylvania in collaboration with DraftKings and RSI, which in addition to PlaySugarHouse.com., operates BetRivers.com.
According to Evolution, much like its existing studios, the new live broadcast studio in Michigan provides “a state-of-the-art B2B live casino solution for multiple operators wishing to offer world-class live casino gaming to online players on desktop, tablet and smartphone”
After in January this year, the Wolverine State expanded options for gamblers, launching online sports betting and online gaming, on the same day, NetEnt, which was acquired by Evolution in December 2020, significantly grew its footprint in the burgeoning U.S. iGaming market after rolling out its titles with multiple operators.
No time wasted:
The anxiously-awaited move by the MGCB made possible the subsidiary’s [NetEnt] games launch on January 22, 2021, with nine industry-leading operators, including Penn Nation Gaming’s Barstool Sports, BetMGM (Roar Digital/MGM Grand Detroit), BetRivers/Rush Street Interactive/Little River Casino Resort), DraftKings (Bay Mills Resort & Casinos), FanDuel (MotorCity Casino), Golden Nugget (Ojibwa Casino & Keweenaw Bay Indian Community), PokerStars, Churchill Downs (TwinSpires Sportsbook/Island Resort & Casino), and William Hill (Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians), with more in the pipeline.
“Our new Michigan studio is one of the biggest and best equipped in the US iGaming market, with room to expand in line with our licensees’ needs. Operators have been greatly impressed with what’s on offer, so much so that we also have several requests to launch dedicated, exclusively branded tables for a number of them, scheduled for later this year,” Millar added.
Playtech in Michigan:
Evolution will soon have company after in March, Isle of Man-headquartered gambling software development company, Playtech plc (LSE:PTEC), announced that it had secured a long-term lease for its own first live casino studio in the U.S. by way of Michigan.
Billed as one of the largest live entertainment studios in the state, the state-of-the-art studio is situated in Southfield, a location approved by the MGCB, and will reportedly feature the company‘s best in class technology and video capabilities from its flagship studio in Riga, Latvia. The facility will provide areas specifically designated for operator dedicated tables as well as networked tables and will have room to grow in order to support its U.S. expansion.