MGM Bonus City: Are Pre-Recorded ‘Hybrid Dealer’ Games the Future?

BetMGM launched its first-ever ‘hybrid dealer’ online game, MGM Bonus City, in New Jersey this week. Hybrid dealer games combine pre-recorded dealer footage with digitally randomized results to provide a lower-cost alternative to live dealer casino games.

BetMGM developed the first-of-its-kind game in partnership with Inspired Entertainment, a leading B2B gaming content, hardware, tech, and services provider.

Inspired is best known for virtual sports, but the BetMGM partnership applied that expertise to create an alternative to live dealer games.

Oliver Bartlett, BetMGM’s senior director of gaming, said in the announcement:

MGM Bonus City brings an added level of fun to BetMGM, allowing players to experience MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas casinos in a new way. We’re confident that our customers will enjoy this unique digital offering.

Hybrid Dealer Tech Blends Reality with CGI

According to the release, MGM Bonus City transports BetMGM’s online casino players to Vegas, where they can choose between eight potential outcomes on the big Bonus City wheel.

Before each spin, the game awards a random special multiplier that could enhance the player’s winnings.

Themed bonus rounds even feature four iconic Las Vegas MGM properties:

  • New York-New York
  • Luxor
  • MGM Grand
  • Bellagio

In MGM Bonus City, BetMGM uses Inspired’s groundbreaking tech to seamlessly integrate virtual CGI, green screen technology, and footage of real dealers.

To keep players engaged, the hosts switch out regularly.

The new hybrid game category blends physical and digital elements to offer branded casino and gameshow content. The result creates a unique 24/7 RNG-generated gaming experience without needing a studio.

Bartlett, via a BetMGM spokesperson, told Bonus the real benefit of the new tech is the amazing places it can take the gaming experience. 

Bonus City, for example, lights up the sky above Luxor and sinks slots beneath Bellagio’s fountains.

The tech, he said, has “limitless applications for really creative gameplay.”

Bonus City Coming to New States Soon

For now, MGM Bonus City is only playable at BetMGM New Jersey. However, BetMGM said it will launch North America’s first hybrid dealer title on BetMGM Michigan and BetMGM Pennsylvania soon.

In the meantime, anyone at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) this week had the chance to demo the game at Inspired’s booth on the trade show floor.

Inspired, president and CEO Brooks Pierce said, is excited about the new partnership.

We are thrilled to partner with BetMGM to introduce our revolutionary Hybrid Dealer technology via MGM Bonus City.

Our patented technology offers unparalleled opportunities for our customers to provide a realistic ‘as live’ experience to players without the logistics of dedicated studios and staffing. This is just the start of a whole new category of games.

MGM Bonus City is now available for desktop browsers, BetMGM’s sportsbook app, and Android. An iOS version will follow in the coming weeks.

About the Author

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil (she/they) is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor, and a lead writer at Bonus. Here she focuses on news relevant to online casinos, while specializing in responsible gambling coverage, legislative developments, gambling regulations, and industry-related legal fights.
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