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The US and Canada have vastly different views on online gambling regulation. Moreover, various US states each have their own way of doing things as well. This has had an interesting effect on live casinos in North America.
First of all, no regulative body has authority over all of North America. Every US state has its own approach, as do most Canadian provinces and territories. However, Canada is noticeably more liberal when it comes to who can offer gambling services to the country’s residents. That’s why off-shore software providers and casinos are booming in the Great White North.
As for the US live casinos, most states strictly forbid online gambling. The ones that do limit their residents to operators and providers licensed and registered as a company within the state.
Visionary iGaming is one notable exception. They offer one of the most active live dealer solutions in America despite no studio presence in the country. Presumably, this is because they figured out a different business-to-business relationship with US live casino operators.
First of all, most live dealer games in Canada are streamed from other locations. Europe, South America, and even parts of Asia are the most common locations. One exception is the presence of an Evolution live studio in Vancouver. This studio is largely responsible for dedicated, bespoke live casino solutions for some Canadian casinos.
The US, however, is the complete opposite. Currently, the largest studio operations can be found in Michigan and New Jersey. Residents of certain states can often only play at live table streams located within the same state. In short, US gambling laws prohibit gambling proceeds from crossing state lines. As such, a resident of, say, New Jersey, can only play a live game if all elements of the gambling chain are strictly within New Jersey jurisdiction. This includes the casino operator, the software provider, and even the studio itself.
In most parts of the world, the global gambling market is quite disparate. You can have a casino operator in one country partnering with a software company in a different one. These then offer a live casino stream from the other side of the planet. As you might imagine, US gambling laws do not fit into the live casino structure too well.
Still, Evolution proudly has studios in New Jersey, Michigan, and soon likely Pennsylvania. Microgaming also operates in Michigan, and Playtech will soon be opening its doors in the Great Lake State as well.
English is the most widespread native language in North America, as you might imagine. That solves a lot of problems for software providers from the get-go. Almost all live casino games are presented primarily in English.
We should note a few things, though. First of all, French-speaking live casino tables in Canada are, in fact, available. However, most are streamed from other countries, primarily in Europe.
Spanish is also a very common language throughout the continent. It’s largely available only from off-shore studios such as those in Costa Rica, Colombia, or even Europe.
The limited number of studios present in North America means that innovative new trends are slow to reach there. More so in the USA live casinos than Canadian casino sites, of course.
While Evolution and Playtech are the torchbearers of new ideas and both have a presence in America, the games they actually stream from US locations are severely limited. Most of the time, these small single-state studios simply include live blackjack, live roulette, and sometimes baccarat. One exception is the New Jersey Evolution studio, which also features Dream Catcher.
In the US, the classics reign supreme. That said, this means that you can play live blackjack in the USA with multiple operators and providers. Live poker is also fairly popular, but mostly as a specialty multiplayer product.
Canada is a bit of a different story. Sure, blackjack and roulette are the most popular, but that’s true everywhere in the world. However, Canadians have access to everything from live casino Game Shows to specialty products. Games streamed strictly from Canada, however, are much less varied. Again, we’re mostly looking at roulette, baccarat, and similar titles.