Connecticut Launches Live Dealer Games, Evolution’s Jeff Millar Talks to Bonus.com

Connecticut‘s live dealer studios soft-launched today. If all goes well, the full launch will happen on July 18. Meanwhile, Bonus.com talked to the North American representative of the company behind the online casino gambling offering.

Jeff Millar, Evolution’s North American commercial director, talked to Bonus.com about the Connecticut studio and more. Evolution provides the studio and the services to partner operators. The services include live dealers for their online casinos.

Live dealer studios allow online casino gamblers to see a face as they bet on table games, like blackjack. The feature is present in every state that allows both legal online casino and sports betting.

Connecticut is the latest to offer live dealer options. Its online gambling marketplace launched on Oct. 19, 2021, and is the newest in the US.

DraftKings and FanDuel are the casino operators there, partnered with the state’s two tribal retail casino operators.

DraftKings Sportsbook and Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino are offered through the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes, respectively.

The tribes run these retail casinos:

  • Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard 
  • Mohegan Sun in Uncasville

Meanwhile, Gov. Ned Lamont sent out an announcement today about Connecticut’s live dealer soft-launch:

Evolution began operations with a seven-day soft launch, authorized by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection, at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 11, 2022. Evolution will provide live dealer games on both the FanDuel and DraftKings iCasino platforms offered in Connecticut. During the soft launch, only blackjack and roulette tables will be available to a limited number of participants. The soft launch will transition seamlessly into the full launch at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 18, 2022, pending the resolution of any issues discovered in the soft launch.

Live Dealer Laws Differ

Connecticut law requires live dealer studios to be located within the state where online casino players are betting. To that end, Lamont says 140 employees of Malta-based Evolution are working out of the company’s Fairfield studio.

That’s the law in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, as well.

However, West Virginians are seeing croupiers via a Pennsylvania stream.

What Evolution Says About CT Live Dealer

Evolution is the leading live dealer product provider for most US online casino operators.

The questions from Bonus.com are in bold and Millar’s answers are below.

Will you have any branded tables in Connecticut?

We’ll be launching the new studio in Connecticut with two existing Evolution customers that are the licensed online casino operators in Connecticut – DraftKings and FanDuel. We’re thrilled that these two operators continue to show their confidence in Evolution and our journey to continue to expand our presence in North America. Our goal for all our operator relationships is a simple one: provide the best possible choice of world-class gaming and help our operators to maximize their opportunities in their chosen markets.

What games will you have? Are they the same for both operators?

Initially, our operators in Connecticut and their players will have access to our Standard Blackjack, Infinite Blackjack, and our suite of Roulette games.

Our focus right now is to get launch into the Connecticut market and start building our presence there. It’s an exciting step in our North American journey, and each state that opens up gives us the chance to provide our licensees with a unique, market-leading games portfolio that gives them the ability to expand their market advantage in the US.

We’ll soon have more game types on offer after the initial launch, and as with all our North American studios there’s plenty of room to expand to meet our operator’s needs – including the increasingly popular branded experience.

What else would you like to discuss?

They say that location is everything – and we wholeheartedly agree. We’re proud to be opening one of our first five North American studios in Connecticut. Located in Fairfield, online players in Connecticut will be playing with live dealers who are based in the same state. As a result, there’s a real opportunity to build a rapport within the games, which is something we’re always on the lookout for when it comes to player loyalty.

In addition to the upcoming launch in Connecticut, we’ve also just launched in West Virginia. We’re excited to get underway with that launch.

But there’s also exciting news coming out of Michigan. We’ll soon be launching several fully customized, dedicated studios with our largest customers and we can’t wait for players to experience these dedicated environments that [are] representative of each operator’s brand.

How well is live dealer going for you in Ontario?

We’re very pleased with the performance of our Live Dealer games in Ontario. We were ready on Day One for the opening of the market to commercial operators in April and our preparation has really benefited operators and players, alike. The operators that now have a gaming license in Ontario are able to see the vast library of games we have available from our European studios. Our Vancouver studio, on the other hand, is a much smaller operation and is exclusive to the Canadian lotteries, including OLG.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is the lead writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She had her first published byline at age 10, but didn't get paid for her writing until she got her first newspaper job. Fletcher's newspaper career started at Suburban News Publications in Ohio and eventually took her to The New York Times, where she's still a contract freelance reporter for the National Desk. She covers breaking news from Philadelphia, as needed. In March 2021, Fletcher began writing about online casino gambling as the lead writer for Online Poker Report.

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