If 2015 was a casino game then whatever game it was, be it blackjack, roulette or baccarat, it would have a real face. Looking back at the biggest iGaming trends over the last 12 months, the proliferation of live dealer casino games was by far the biggest.
Thanks to the combination of emerging platforms making the medium their primary focus, and established online casinos integrating options alongside their virtual games, live dealer tables became big business for everyone.
Of course, feelings aren’t enough to define a trend and just because live dealer games became more visible in 2015, it doesn’t necessarily mean they were a hit with players. Fortunately for the operators that have taken a gamble on the latest iGaming technology, the stats seem to suggest they have been a hit.
Profits Up for Live Casino Creators
According to a recent financial report by EvolutionGaming, one of the leading live dealer casino software suppliers in the industry, profits soared in 2015. Thanks to a surge in interest from operators, Evolution’s Q4 revenues increased by 62% to €22.4 million in 2015.
That performance follows similar results in Q1 through Q3 and sits as a testament to the growing popularity of the live dealer casino genre.
Another software company that enjoyed a profitable 2015, thanks in part to its live gaming options, was NetEnt. Currently the supplier of live online casino games (blackjack and roulette) for sites such as Smart Live Casino, NetEnt saw its annual revenue increase by 33% in 2015.
In fact, thanks to the NetEnt’s growing influence in the live casino market, 2016 will see the company pour more resources into its mobile solutions for live gaming.
According to the NetEnt’s President and CEO Per Eriksson, his team is currently harnessing the power of HTML5 and working on mobile solutions that will make live gaming on the go a more accessible option for operators and players. Expanding on the topic, Eriksson went on to say that the growth of the live casino product segment is “very interesting going forward.”
Technology Changing Our View of iGaming
Online gaming has always been an industry that ebbs and flows with the tide of technological innovation and the advent of live dealer games is certainly an example of that. Thanks to the power of RFID chips, web streams and clever engineering on the software side of things, casino gaming has become a much more engaging experience for the average player.
In fact, when you look at the evolution of virtual reality technology in other areas of the gaming world (think Oculus Rift et al), it’s clear that people now want total immersion in whatever game they’re playing.
Live dealer casino games might not be quite as immersive as virtual reality games such as Arizona Sunshine; however, they are certainly more engaging than traditional online casino games.
By replacing virtual dealers with a real person, players now have much more connection with the games they’re playing and that makes the experience feel a lot more real and, therefore, a lot more enjoyable. Indeed, as we head further in 2016 it’s highly likely the live casino will continue to grow and reshape the way we view online gaming.