World First: Hard Rock Casino Atlantic City Launches ‘Live Slots’

Author Thomas Wolf
February 25, 2020 3 min read

You’ve probably heard of live casino games. You know, the kind where online players interact (via a live dealer) with physical cards, chips, and wheels.

These games are common at online casinos today, and not many new operators would want to be without them.

However, you’ve never seen live online slot machines before. That’s because, before Atlantic City’s Hard Rock Casino launched them earlier this month, they weren’t a thing.

That’s right—one of Atlantic City’s biggest casinos has become the first casino in the world to offer games of this type.

In collaboration with Israeli developer Softweave, Hard Rock has filled a backroom at their casino with physical slots that can only be accessed by online players.

Online gamblers can control the game through a specially designed rig and camera system that physically operates the slots and handles on the machine. 

Transitioning into Online Customers

With traditional land-based gambling still dominating the global market, casinos are always looking at ways to bring more players into the online game.

“There are brick-and-mortar players that have a fear of doing things online. This is helpful in transitioning them into online customers,” said Kresimir Spajic, Hard Rock’s Vice President of Online Gaming.

Market research in the past has shown that many older gamblers don’t trust the odds and pay-outs of online machines. 

This added trust is already a key selling point for live casino games like blackjack or roulette. This option also offers players the chance to enjoy familiar games and titles, often in more traditional three-reel formats.

At the moment, online live slots are only available to New Jersey residents. Prospective players can hit the reels at HardRockCasino.com.

Even those who are online slot aficionados will definitely find some novelty here, in addition to the potentially lucrative allure of formerly casino floor-exclusive games, such as Leprechauns, Spitfire Multipliers, and Hotter than Blaze.

Live Casino Pioneers

The move comes as the massive Hard Rock Casino attempts to boost its online revenue to match that of the regional leader, Golden Nugget online, who has been consistently smashing monthly record revenues this year.

Last year, Golden Nugget set a benchmark $177 million income for its online casino venture, accounting for nearly a third of the whole sector in the state of New Jersey. That’s despite being only one of seven designated online gambling portals in the Garden State.

Hard Rock itself came in sixth for online revenues, bringing in $22.7 million last year. That’s a respectable income, but it’s way off the leading pace.

It seems that Hard Rock wants to take things up a notch this year. It announced a partnership with top-dog live casino developer Evolution Gaming, which should help Hard Rock tap into the growing live casino market. On top of that, Hard Rock brought this innovative and world-first project to the market.

Slowly Bridging the Gap

“Bridging the gap to provide a ‘Live’ experience to our online consumers is something we are not only excited for but very proud to be the first in the world,” said Hard Rock Casino & Hotel Atlantic City President, Joe Lupo.

However, the project remains relatively small at the moment, with just 12 machines running and only one player able to play at each machine at one time.

This may present a challenge when scaling up the project.

Unlike live casino games, where most roulette wheels and some special blackjack tables can host an unlimited number of players, it seems difficult (or even impossible) to have more than one player per physical machine.

Whatever this technology’s future turns out to be, it’s exciting to witness the genesis of a completely new type of gaming in the industry.

In the meantime, keep checking back with us to stay updated on how things go with this unique development over the coming months.

Author Thomas Wolf

Author

Thomas Wolf

384 articles

Thomas Wolf is our editor in chief. With an extensive background in online gambling (both working for casino operators and game studios) as well as an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, he's a proper authority on online casinos. When not running the day to day operations or reviewing new operators Thomas is a blackjack aficionado with some seriously big wins recorded at land-based casinos in both Las Vegas, Monaco and Macau.
Hard Rock Casino launch new live slots