From the main street to the Internet and back again, the casino has made a full circle. The live casino is already available, and it appears that it will remain.
The world's first real online casino debuted in the middle of the 1990s owing to the clever programming of a little software development firm named Microgaming.
The internet casino would develop over the course of the following two decades, moving from baccarat and blackjack to craps, roulette, and slots. Every game would be broken down into code and re-appear on computer and mobile device displays throughout the world.
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.
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.
The operation is incredible behind the scenes. In the Latvian city of Riga, Playtech unveiled the largest next-generation Live Casino in the world. The 8,500 square meter studio was especially constructed to stream live online casino gambling to a worldwide audience.
Overlooking the ancient town's medieval walls, the modern mission control facility has a massive 25-meter-wide curving LED wall. This gives broadcasters complete control over the images they provide to their audience. Additionally, there are training facilities, a research and development division, and a space designated for "ideas and invention."
The majority of the European live casino market is served by the Riga setup. New broadcast sites have been established in the Philippines, Spain, Belgium, and Romania as a result of the introduction of newly regulated regions.
A platform that really showcases the possibilities of the Internet is the contemporary live casino. Modern technology and natural live action are combined in it. For instance, certain roulette games include additional features.
When a bonus number is drawn, the main game continues to stream and play normally, but the screen erupts into an animated display of bonuses and multipliers. It elevates the roulette experience and is something that would be unattainable in a physical casino.
The live casino is the ideal synthesis of both online and offline chance. It easily connects online and offline gaming by being integrated with the player's account, perhaps providing the best of both worlds. The only things that are lacking are the free beers 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.
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