Unibet will be working alongside Evolution Gaming, a specialist when it comes to live dealer casinos. This partnership will see the sports betting operator make its first steps into the United States market.
The company has long been using the live casino tables that Evolution provides throughout its European operations. Unibet has its own tables at Evolution’s Riga studios, as well as a number of tables for different languages at its Malta office.
Unibet’s foray into the New Jersey market will see it utilizing the brand new studio in the US that Evolution has created. This studio started operating during August in Atlantic City and offers live dealer casino games to New Jersey players.
Evolution making advances
There is a lot of potential in the US sports betting market, with many international operators looking to get in on the action. Evolution, in particular, has been focusing on increasing its reach across the world.
It recently acquired Ezugi, a rival in the live dealer sector, for $12m. Ezugi offers its web and mobile live dealer casino offerings to online operations, as well as offline betting shops and casinos. Its main markets have been in South Africa, Latin America, Europe, as well as in Oklahoma and New Jersey.
Ezugi was one of Evolution’s few rivals, so this deal makes it a lot easier for the latter to dominate the market going forward.
The new Unibet offering in the US will come from the live casino production Evolution operates in Atlantic City. Kindred Group, parent company of Unibet, traditionally has a long-running contract with Kambi to provide its sportsbook offering – that deal has been amended to allow for this foray into the New Jersey market.
Unibet is also partnering with the digital division at Scientific Games to provide power for the new online casino.
Unibet is very happy with this deal, with a spokesperson saying: “Now that Evolution has launched its US studio, we look forward very much to establishing and growing the Unibet brand in New Jersey and, in due course, in other US states too.”
Evolution also sees this as being a good stepping stone for it to cement its place in the US market.
The company’s director for land-based sales and business development, James Stern said: “We have already started to plan the expansion of the studio following the early success we have witnessed since launch. With additional partners still to go live and the wide range of games Evolution has to offer, the coming 12 months will undoubtedly highlight the company’s ability to provide the best player experience.”
Landscape in New Jersey
New Jersey has enjoyed plenty of success with its gambling revenues recently. The decision by the Supreme Court in May 2018 to end the federal sports betting ban has allowed sports betting operators to set up shop in the state.
The first of those sportsbooks opened in mid-June and the state has seen increasing intakes month on month. Other forms of gambling are also seeing good advances in the state.
The online gambling sector is reaching new heights on a regular basis, with a new monthly record hit in November. The latest New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) figures show that online operations saw revenues of almost $27m, which is a 30% improvement in comparison with the same month in 2017, as well as a slight increase on October’s figures.
This came despite online poker revenues hitting an all-time low, down to $1.56m in November. However, online casinos are seeing strong gains, increasing 35% year on year. Therefore, it looks like good timing on the behalf of Unibet to be entering into this space in New Jersey.