Over the last few years, vast eGaming studios have started sprouting up across the globe. You will find them in many countries, but they are especially prevalent in places like Romania. Latvia, Lithuania and the Philippines.
The studios employ thousands of people as croupiers, yet the players who visit these casinos could be thousands of miles away in New Zealand, the UK, Canada or anywhere else.
Asking yourself, what is live casino? It is simply real casino games played through a live streamed format. Cameras are set up in front of these croupiers, who direct the games just as you would see in Las Vegas or Macau. The real genius here is not the live streaming, however. It is the console technology, i.e. the ability for bets to be placed through a computer as quickly as you would place a chip on a casino table.
Live dealer platforms have been around for a few years now, and it’s almost a given that an online casino will have some live games. The casinos themselves do not create the games or own the studios. Instead, these are owned and operated by casino software developers, who license out the games to the online casino operators. The most influential operators of live casino software solutions include Playtech, Evolution Gaming and NetEnt Live.
New Games Show Glimpses of the Future
Yet, there is a feeling among casino experts that we have not yet seen the full potential of live dealer casino games. Sure, the chance to play roulette, blackjack and poker with a professional dealer through your smartphone or PC is exciting, even revolutionary in delivering augmented reality. But it could also be argued that it mimics the experience of going to a real casino, rather than improving on that experience. Shouldn’t tech do a bit more?
Thankfully, we are now seeing some glimpses of what the future of live dealer games will be. For example, Monopoly Live from Evolution Gaming was created in partnership with Hasbro. It invites players to play a wheel of fortune-style game with a big difference, a Monopoly bonus game can be triggered. The bonus game is played on an immersive interactive board, with stunning 3D graphics and loads of cool features. The game has become insanely popular in a very short time, and it is likely to become a permanent fixture of live dealer casinos.
It is this sense of expansion away from traditional casino games that is the key to success with live dealer casino. It doesn’t have to be an extreme departure from the source material, however. Consider the Age of the Gods Roulette Live game, which plays like standard roulette, except that there is a bonus game instead of the zero pocket and a connected progressive jackpot. The latter is funded by 1% of bets, and is triggered randomly, awarding one of four jackpots (the top prize can reach millions) to any player playing the game.
Social interaction is key too. And we have seen the rise of live dealer games that focus beyond the game at hand. For example, Live Football Studio was designed to offer a simple casino card game, but also had a football results service, allowing the croupiers and players to chat about the live football games.
It feels like we are on the precipice of a new wave of live casino games. While the original tech used in bringing real roulette, poker, baccarat and the rest online was stunning, the next generation of games might be even more impactful. Perhaps, one day they might even help replace the land-based casino altogether.