A brief history of live casino - the hidden gem of online gaming

The unique cross between online and land-based gaming

The concept of live casino first came into being in the mid-90s and immediately caused huge waves in the gaming community. Gone were the days when gambling at home meant a passive and solitary night in. Now, a sophisticated flesh-and-blood human dealer could stand at an authentic casino table with real quality equipment, officiating and supervising a session which could be broadcast online live to screens all over the world. Players would then be able to log in at their leisure and access the game from the comfort of their own screens. All of the energy, visuals and exhilaration of a live casino experience and none of the queues, parking or secondhand smoke. No need to even get dressed. Genius, right?

Why, then, did this revolutionary new way of enjoying casino fail to take off and immediately dominate the online gambling scene?

In the mid-2000s when live casino sites started gaining traction, technology had not yet advanced enough to ensure a smooth and immersive experience. Devices were limited to cumbersome PC units and streaming connections were often at the mercy of unreliable dial-up internet modems – that is, if you were lucky enough to have a PC and internet connection to begin with. As with any experimental new product, these teething problems would take some time to improve. However in an industry that progresses at the speed of light, players and operators were unforgiving of the delay. As technology caught up and high-speed multifunctional devices became more accessible to consumers, online sports betting and virtual slot apps burst onto the scene with their bright colourful animation and simple interfaces. Live casino, the stylish wunderkind of the 90s, was largely pushed to the side.

You just can’t keep a good idea down

Luckily, as we know, the story of live casino did not end there. The advent of game-changing smartphones facilitated the two most crucial elements of any live gaming experience: graphics and streaming quality. As technology advanced, interfaces got faster, sexier and easier to use. Along with these, another vital layer of the platform evolved in the form of improved chat functions, utilising both voice and text. This development elevated live casino from ‘game’ to ‘experience’. The ability to effortlessly communicate with dealers and other players further increased the illusion of authenticity and allowed for the complex emotional tension that is vital to many tabletop casino games. Think of a player aimlessly playing poker on their phone at home with boxy virtual 8-bit cards. Now imagine that same player being able to simulate the banter and repartee of a real casino table - casting doubts about their hand, jesting with other players and just generally shooting the breeze. Live casino was back in the game.

A highly underestimated stream of revenue

Nowadays, live casino options are one of the most highly sought-after products for the discerning at-home player and public interest is at an all time high. Despite this, many gaming operators are lacking in their selection. Game providers are doing exciting things with cutting-edge technology and the next wave of players are responding to the unique blend of socially-distant-socialising and gaming – a blend that is a perfect fit for the modern gaming market.

However, not all suppliers offer the best range of live casino options and often keep themselves limited to sportsbook  and slots. Luckily some developers are giving the people what they want; companies like Pragmatic Play offer a range of flexible solutions using 4K quality cameras from their very own newly built, state-of-the-art gaming studio in Romania. Their highly trained, experienced and professional dealers use an HTML5 user-friendly interface which is based on extensive UX research to guarantee that players have the best and most immersive experience possible. Pragmatic Play are fully licensed with the UK Gambling Commission and MGA for your peace of mind, and support a huge range of languages so you can easily conquer international markets. Find out more at www.pragmaticplay.com

It’s almost impossible to predict where the wave of technology will take us next, and how this will affect live casino and concepts like it. For now, we’re just enjoying the ride.

SiGMA  is delighted to announce Pragmatic Play as Gold Sponsors for the #SiGMAamericas Digital Summit. Register for free: https://bit.ly/2RyRbOL 

 

About SiGMA Europe - Malta

SiGMA Group has announced the postponement of its Europe summit, which was planned to be held in Malta on 17-19 November 2020. The show will now open its doors early next year in February, running from the 16-18th, making it the first event to headline the 2021 gaming calendar.

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