Claim 100 Free Spins on Book of Dead +200% on First Deposit Bonus
The innovation is not just new to the property, but also to the US online gaming market in general. These live online slot machines are, in fact, a world first.
Most manufacturers of physical slot machines also create virtual implementations of at least part of their catalog. This is the first time, however, that players will be able to play slot machines on the same hardware as in a casino in the comfort of their own home - or even on the go.
Online casino games with live dealer like blackjack and roulette have become commonplace in the international market. They are also rapidly gaining ground in the United States thanks in part to Hard Rock, whose casino in Atlantic City hosts the Evolution live-dealer Gaming studio.
So far, New Jersey is the only state with such a studio - two, in fact. Another one is expected to open in Pennsylvania later this year.
This agreement with Softweave further establishes Hard Rock as an innovator and potentially pioneer when it comes to bridging the gap between the live casino experience and online gaming.
Softweave's Live Slots product includes four components: the gaming machine itself, an AV setup, mobile and browser applications, and hardware provided by Softweave called Winafar, which links the components together inside the machine cabinet.
When the application is launched, players are presented with a bank of slot machines indicating which machines are used and which are available. They can select an open seat or put themselves on a waiting list if their favorite machine is in use.
Once the player has chosen a machine, Winafar hardware allows the transfer of money between the balance of his online account and the machine. The camera and microphone transmit live video and audio from the machine to the player’s browser or smartphone.
The camera's field of view includes the cabinet buttons, to which the application interface is directly mapped. Clicking or tapping one of the buttons in the video window instructs the Winafar box to execute the equivalent command on the real machine.
At first glance, the product may seem a little useless compared to live dealer table games.
On the one hand, live slot machine lack the interaction with live dealers that blackjack and roulette offer. Some players also trust the randomness of a physical deck of cards or roulette wheel more than they do a computer generating pseudo-random numbers.
Even slot machines with physical reels run on software these days, and there are no human dealers involved. Is there really a market for "online" slots?
That remains to be determined, but the Softweave product differs in two ways from conventional online slots.
First, and more importantly, the machines that Hard Rock uses for its live slots have no digital adaptations. It has 12 machines divided between five games, including two digital and three mechanical ones:
This lineup may change in the future, but what's important is that Hard Rock Casino can offer online games that aren't available anywhere outside of a brick-and-mortar casino.
Second, recreational players are often superstitious. In a casino, some will move between slot machines playing the same game in search of the one that is "lucky". Using physical machines remotely gives them the ability to do the same online.
There may not be a rational basis for this, but it's probably a feature that some players still want.
The way Hard Rock Casino set up the studio for its live slots offers additional marketing value. The room containing the connected machines for online gaming is located opposite the casino buffet, a high traffic area on the second level.
To promote the new product, Hard Rock casino installed a poster-sized advertisement on the wall separating the studio from the sideboard. In the announcement, keyhole windows provide passers-by with a view of the machines.