Hard Rock Atlantic City launched live online slot machines this week that are fully played remotely. The casino operator and its software technology partner said the format is a first-of-its-kind anywhere in the world.
Similar to remote live table games where online gamblers interact with an actual real human dealer through their computer and mobile screens, the new offering from Hard Rock allows players to see and operate a physical slot machine from anywhere inside the state.
We are excited to introduce an entirely new way to play floor favorites without being there,” said Kresimir Spajic, Hard Rock International’s senior vice president of online gaming. “With Live Slots, you can control real, physical slot machines located at Hard Rock Atlantic City.”
The live slot machines were developed in partnership with Softweave Ltd.
Online gaming has played a pivotal role in the Atlantic City resurrection and stabilization. Last year, casinos won more than $482.69 million on internet slots and table games.
Licensed online gaming operations are regulated just as highly as the games are at brick-and-mortar casinos. But that doesn’t fully satisfy some, who remain skeptical about whether an internet slot or automated table game is truly presenting the same payout rate and odds that occur in person.
And for older people who didn’t grow up with the internet and mobile devices, gambling virtually is a foreign concept. Hard Rock says the ability to view and control a live slot is an effort to ease such trepidation.
“The psychology, there are brick-and-mortar players that have a fear of doing things online,” Spajic explained. “This is helpful in transitioning them into online customers. This is a real, physical machine that they can see, almost like they’re sitting in front of it.”
Hard Rock Atlantic City President Joe Lupo said the company decided to launch the live online slots in response to live internet table games growing in popularity.
Credibility and transparency have been paramount to seeing online gaming move forward,” Lupo said. “The difference between seeing a computer image, as opposed to the kind of machine that a customer has been playing for years, it may be easier to understand.”
Hard Rock’s live slot machine bank is located on the second floor of the casino. On-site guests can view the machines in operation, but cannot access the closed-off area.
A total of 12 live slot machines can be played by one gambler online at a time. If all seats are occupied, internet gamblers can join a wait list and play other online games in the meantime.
Golden Nugget has emerged as the leading online casino operator in New Jersey. The property reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $177 million last year, which accounted for 37 percent of the state internet gaming haul.
Hard Rock placed sixth out of seven online gaming operators. The casino won $22.5 million, trailing Golden Nugget, Resorts ($100.1 million), Borgata ($77.7 million), Caesars Interactive ($55.3 million), and Tropicana ($44.7 million).