The casino has gone full circle; from the high street to the Internet and back again. The Live Casino has arrived, and it looks like it is here to stay.
In the mid 1990s, the world’s first true online casino appeared thanks to the canny programming work of a small software development company called Microgaming.
The next two decades would see the evolution of the online casino; from baccarat and blackjack to craps, roulette, and the slots. Every game would be crunched into code, to re-appear – renewed and digitised – on computer and smart phone screens worldwide.
History of Live Casinos
Random number generators would power the probability, and state-of-the-art online security would keep the money safe and the hackers at bay. From the beginning, online gambling has been a highly lucrative Internet business; generating revenue and driving innovation.
Around 2003, the first live streaming casinos appeared. By now, online casinos were fairly well established; regulated and overseen by numerous watchdogs. However, there were still sceptics who were suspicious of the algorithms behind any online casino software.
The first live casinos streamed out of Asia and were very problematic. Spotty connections, breaks in the live stream, and a generally poor service kicked the format into the long grass. It was a great idea, but the supporting technology just was not there.
Fast forward to 2006 and the arrival of Evolution Gaming. The business set up shop in Riga, Latvia, and worked hard to iron out the many technological bumps created by live streaming. With the arrival of HTML5, increased bandwidth, and the evolution of the smart phone, it would take a decade for the live casino format to really bed in.
How Live Dealer Casino Games Work
Today, live casinos are more popular than their digital forefathers with their painful RNGs. The ability to engage and interact with both dealers and croupiers, at the same time as seeing the little silver ball dance around the roulette wheel, still appeals.
Players love to see the playing cards being cut and dealt in front of their eyes – it all adds confidence to the online casino experience while creating a social platform.
This has been enabled by something called Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. This programme is able to recognise the physical cards being dealt (or where the roulette ball ends up on the wheel) and translate these into digital characters on your laptop or phone screen.
This means that players can enjoy the experience of interacting with a real dealer or croupier in real time, but doing so from the comfort of home – or anywhere else with a decent wi-fi connection.
Riga is the current European capital of the live casino. Evolution Gaming, the Coingaming Group, and Playtech all have huge studios and offices, providing live casino streaming, B2B, services for many of Europe’s leading online casinos.
Other live casino brands include Ezugi, with nine offices around the world; and Authentic Gaming, which claims to offer the ‘live casino experience of tomorrow’ from both custom-made studios and real, working, hotel casinos.
Casino Mission Control
Behind the scenes, the operation is extraordinary. In 2017, Playtech opened the world’s largest next generation Live Casino in the Latvian capital of Riga. The 8,500 square meter studio is custom built to broadcast live online casino gaming to a global audience.
The futuristic mission control complex is built on top of the old town’s medieval walls and includes a giant 25-metre-wide curved LED wall. This allows broadcasters to control exactly what visuals they transmit to their audience. There are also training facilities, a research and development department, and an ‘ideas and innovation’ room.
The Riga set-up serves most of the European Live Casino market. The advent of newly regulated areas has resulted in new broadcast locations in the Philippines, Spain, Belgium and Romania. It’s a business that never stops, operating 24/7, 365 days of the year.
The Real Deal
Playtech and Casino.com have been bedfellows for many years. Popular games like Jackpot Giant and the Age of the Gods franchise have made Playtech the leading game software developer in a crowded field. Casino.com is also on a roll, having recently undertaken a website revamp, and earning new awards for both safer gaming and customer service.
“We enjoy a close and collaborative relationship with Mansion, and they remain a key long-term partner for Playtech,” said Playtech Chief Operating Officer Simon Akid. “We continue to grow with them and support their position as market leaders. Mansion’s commitment to an exclusive Live Casino space for Casino.com is a significant step.”
“It’s fantastic to see such a key partner like Mansion actively investing time in utilising new customer engagement tools to deliver an enhanced, personalised player experience,” he said.
Live Action Meets Cutting Edge Tech
The modern live casino is a platform that really shows off the potential of the Internet. It combines organic live action with cutting edge technology. For example, some of the roulette games come with bonus rounds.
The regular game plays and streams as per normal but, when a bonus number lands, the screen explodes into an animated display of bonuses and multipliers. It’s something that would be impossible in a bricks and mortar casino and takes the roulette experience to the next level.
The live casino is the perfect symbiosis of both the Internet and organic probability. Integrated with the player’s account, it seamlessly bridges the gap between online and offline, arguably delivering the best of both. All that’s missing are the complimentary drinks and the chatter from the casino floor.
Entertainment is the key to any good online casino in these compliant times. For responsible operators, the wellbeing of its players is paramount. The live casino is – genuinely – a lot of fun to play. The entry-level stakes are also considerably lower than Las Vegas. You can also just lurk and watch the action, if that floats your betting boat.
Play Live Casino Games at Casino.com
At Casino.com we offer a wide range of live casino games, brought to you from the gaming experts at Playtech. The selection of games includes various versions of classics like roulette, blackjack baccarat and poker, along with some alternative live gaming options like Spin a Win or Hi-Lo.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the live casino options available to play at Casino.com:
Roulette is the game most associate with the casino, and the experience of playing live roulette brings the casino to you via your phone or laptop. At Casino.com we offer a variety of different roulette games in a selection of different languages. You can choose the simplicity of Roulette Live, or go for variations like Live Football Roulette or Slingshot Live Roulette – the choice is yours!
One of the most popular games to play at the live casino is Blackjack. Watch as a dealer reveals their cards before your eyes, on one of many different blackjack tables. Players can sit down at Live Blackjack, Quantum Blackjack Live, VIP Blackjack and many more. With tables for all bankrolls there is a blackjack game playing out 24 hours a day at Casino.com.
Traditionally baccarat has been a favourite of high rolling casino players, but when you play live baccarat with us bets start for as little as 50 cents per hand, up to $5,000 for those players with a bigger budget. Take a seat to discover why baccarat is the oldest card game still played in the casino today, and don’t forget to check out our expert guide if you want a refresher on the rules of the game.
Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world, and with our live dealer games you can take on the dealer in a couple of variations on the game. Casino Hold’em is a variation of the world’s favourite card game: Texas Hold ‘Em, except that you are taking on the dealer rather than your fellow players. Three card brag is a game that’s easy to learn – check out the rules here – and a lot of fun to play, while traditional Stud Poker is always a popular live option.
Other Live Games
The selection of live dealer games at Casino.com is constantly being updated and ranges from traditional games like Sic Bo to the latest Live Game Shows. You can play slot games like Buffalo Blitz live in the company of a real, or take part in the wheel spinning, nerve-jangling Money Drop Live. Hi-Lo, Spin a Win, Deal or No Deal and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire roulette are just a few more options to discover at Casino.com.
With around 100 live dealer games to choose from, you are never far from the latest action at Casino.com!