As the week began, a lot of chatter was all over the place about an announcement coming from the Hard Rock casino in New Jersey. The photos probably help tell part of the story, so here’s a tweet from reporter David Danzis of the Press of Atlantic City:
So what’s going on? In essence, the Hard Rock is testing with slots what’s proven popular with table games. The online casino counterparts in New Jersey have been offering live dealers for many of their table games in recent years.
The idea goes (at least in part) that some may feel more comfortable knowing it’s not a completely computerized online game when they can see a real person dealing cards. Some people also just like having that interaction.
Those who visit casinos like the Golden Nugget can see actual live dealers (in the case of Golden Nugget when they’re coming in from the parking garage), so there’s an interesting level of transparency also offered.
In the case of slots, the actual slot machines can be seen in a portion of the Hard Rock’s physical property, and players can engage one from the online casino app. Theoretically this opens the library of games to any that the technology supports, which may allow for games that online casinos can’t or don’t offer.
This may also give skittish players worried about what the edge of a game might be online some reassurance, since these will be the same games that casinos by for the casino floor.
It’s been said on some sites (although they don’t indicate where they source that data) that online casinos have a lower house edge overall than their physical casino counterparts. The lower comps earnings for online casinos compared to in physical casinos would seem to reinforce this reality.
If true, playing a physical slot set to a payback percentage more in line with a physical casino could be seen as a disadvantage, but this is where we get into more supposition, as we don’t have perfect information.
It’s still a pretty novel way to leverage technology and drive awareness of their online casino, regardless of how this experiment plays out. And players can give them a try, as the program has officially launched.