Live Dealer Platforms Compared

Published: 07/01/2013

Live dealer table games can be streamed to players’ computers directly from dedicated studios, from real land-based casinos or from television broadcast studios. But it is not the online casinos that run these operations. Instead, they subscribe to platforms developed by live gaming providers, who build the sets, hire the pit crews, arrange the camerawork and create the software interface for placing bets remotely.

For that reason, the player’s choice of a live dealer casino should take into account the platform provider and the attributes of its service. Certain leaders have emerged in this field. A few, like Playtech and Microgaming, are primarily software companies that expanded into live dealer games, while others specialise exclusively on this genre. Take a good look at their offerings and see how they compare.

Playtech – This well-established software developer gets credit for launching the live dealer revolution in 2003, when they opened their original live dealer studio in the Philippines. Six years later, they added a European studio based in Latvia. Both locations offer browser-based games, so no downloads are required. Game options are among the broadest in the industry, including blackjack, baccarat, roulette, sic bo and casino hold’em. Via the Euro platform, true TV-quality full-screen viewing is available. Game pacing is fairly good, with new blackjack deals about every 30 seconds. Some of the online casinos that offer Playtech’s platform are bet365, William Hill, Nova 21, Betfred, Vegas Red and EuroGrand, to name a few.

Microgaming – This major software developer entered the live dealer arena in 2006, launching its first live baccarat game from Riga, Latvia. Since then, roulette and eight-deck blackjack have been added, and affiliates contracted include Roxy Palace, Royal Vegas, AllSlots, Canbet, Platinum Play and others. One innovation is that multiple games can be played concurrently. The pace is fast, with new blackjack hands dealt about every 15 seconds. Other benefits are adjustable video quality and game view options. Microgaming does not, however, have a dealer chat function and table seating can be limited during peak periods.

CWC Gaming – This Costa Rica-based company, whose name is an abbreviation for “Computer Web Cam,” began offering live dealer baccarat, blackjack, roulette and sic bo in 2003. A major platform upgrade was undertaken in 2010 to improve in the quality of the live games’ look, feel and functionality. Today they offer browser-based access with a choice of classic and 3D versions. Recently introduced was a “high limit” table for VIP baccarat players. Ladbrokes has long been their primary customer. Pacing is brisk, as new blackjack deals commence every 20 seconds or so.

Vuetec – Established in 2004, this specialised provider was among the pioneers of live dealer technology. Their games are streamed not from a studio but from a real land-based casino—the Fitzwilliam Card Club & Casino in Dublin, Ireland. This is one of the few platforms that allows players to preview games and sample them with a free play option. The Java-based software is designed for instant browser access, and new blackjack deals occur about every 20 seconds. Vuetec customers include DublinBet and LuckyLive Casino.

EntwineTech – This Macau based live dealer specialist was originally known as EnterAsia. They launched in 2004 and eventually signed a master license agreement with RNG game developer Cryptologic to supply Cryptologic licensee casinos with a live dealer platform. With a large range of tables, dealers and games, EntwineTech supplies Bodog, VictorChandler, 888 Live and others on a 24/7 basis. There are high limit games available, too. One potential drawback is poor video quality and lag when the interface is especially busy.

Evolution Gaming – Broadcasting from a studio in Riga, Latvia since 2006, this specialised provider has become a powerhouse among suppliers of live dealer feeds. Their stable of clients includes Unibet, PartyGaming, Expekt, Gala Coral, BlueSquare and PaddyPower, to name just a few. Advantages of the EG platform are TV-quality full-screen viewing, browser-based games and player controlled views. Pacing is ultra-fast, with new blackjack hands every 10 seconds or so.

Published on: 07/01/2013

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