After almost two years of promising, Light & Wonder is taking its shot at the US live dealer online casino gaming market through its subsidiary Authentic Gaming, now authorized to launch in Michigan. The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) said in a press release on Oct. 5, 2023, that Authentic Gaming can begin offering its products immediately.
Authentic Gaming has deals in place with Golden Nugget Michigan and BetRivers Michigan. Per the press release, its games should roll out on both sites later today, though they were not yet available when we checked the site lobbies at 10:20 a.m. ET.
MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said:
Live dealer online casino table games offer an immersive and engaging gambling experience that combines the convenience of online gaming with the authenticity of the environment in a land-based casino. Players can enjoy the excitement of playing their favorite casino games with real dealers in real-time, all from the comfort of their home or wherever they may be.
Light & Wonder announced its US live dealer plans alongside the Authentic Gaming acquisition in November 2021. However, it never indicated a firm date for launch.
Authentic Gaming will be the third live dealer brand in Michigan and the fourth in the US. Playtech and Evolution are the other two companies licensed in the Wolverine State. Ezugi was the first US live dealer brand launched in New Jersey in 2016. However, it was acquired the following year by Evolution, which has not bothered to expand the subsidiary’s footprint outside the Garden State.
A fifth brand, StakeLogic, will make its US debut next year in Rhode Island. It will hold a monopoly there, having secured a partnership with Bally’s, the state’s sole authorized iGaming provider.
What Can Michiganders Expect From Authentic Gaming?
The MGCB press release states that Authentic Gaming will offer “a wide range of live dealer gaming options to suit different preferences,” including the standard live dealer trinity: blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
Authentic Gaming’s website emphasizes its roulette products. That may likewise be the focus in Michigan, as Golden Nugget and BetRivers have plenty of blackjack variations available from Evolution, including custom-branded private studios.
In particular, Authentic Gaming announced its first Light & Wonder crossover product this summer: 7’s on Fire Live. This is a game show version of roulette, crossed with L&W’s popular 7’s on Fire Slot.
Considerably more elaborate than most live dealer games, 7’s on Fire Live allows players to bet on roulette numbers, slot machine symbols, or both. The symbols that come up on the slot machine receive random multipliers. Six numbers on the wheel also receive a slot symbol and its corresponding multiplier. Slots payouts likewise get a boost if the roulette ball lands on the corresponding symbol.
The basic payouts for the roulette portion of the game are lower than the norm – 12:1 rather than 35:1 – because of the chance to multiply that payout with a symbol. That makes 7’s on Fire Live extremely volatile compared to most live dealer table games, though players can spread small bets around on multiple numbers and symbols if they want to mitigate that.