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Live and kicking: why online casinos must offer live dealer

George Miller

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Live and kicking: why online casinos must offer live dealer
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

James King, Chief Marketing Officer at Conquer Casino, discusses the importance of live casino and why it has become so popular

 

Live casino is one of the fastest growing online casino products on the market and is now an absolute most for brands looking to engage all types of player.

Live dealer perfectly bridges the gap between land-based and online play, offering the buzz and excitement found on the casino floor alongside the convenience of playing online.

It brings to life what can, at times, be a solitary form of entertainment – most players play online casino at home while alone.

Players love that they can sit down at a real table, watch real cards being slid across the felt by a human dealer they can interact with.

Such is the popularity of live casino that operators now have separate lobbies and tabs for these games. We are also seeing live dealer only operators enter the market.

In addition, providers such as Evolution Gaming and Authentic Gaming are developing new games, features and tools that take the live dealer experience to the next level.

Evolution, for example, offers an innovative live money wheel game that is set against a glitzy TV show backdrop with a host and not a dealer.

Authentic Gaming, on the other hand, streams from real tables located on the floors of real casinos allowing online players to sit down next to those actually on the property.

These breakthroughs have really helped to push the momentum that has built behind live casino games in recent months.

This has also been helped by huge improvements in mobile live dealer, with players able to enjoy the same immersive and realistic experience even when playing on the move.

But why has live dealer become such a phenomenon of late?

Much of it is to do with what I mentioned previously about players seeking out authentic casino experiences from the comfort of their own home.

But it also has a lot to do with trust and players preferring to wager against a human dealer – even if they are located in a special studio – instead of a random number generator.

This is certainly the case in new and emerging markets where players can lack trust in online casino brands, especially those that do not have a land-based presence.

In addition to this, consumers are super savvy and expect a varied and valuable experience from their chosen entertainment channels, including online casino.

This partly explains why live dealer is so popular with younger players – they demand an element of interaction from their entertainment choices and live casino can deliver this.

It is also considered a less “hardcore” form of gambling – most players will have previously visited a casino and played the table games on offer.

As we all know, table games are seen as a less aggressive form of gambling than slots and are held in the same regard as bingo and lottery giving them mass market appeal.

But it’s not just casual players that are drawn to live dealer – high rollers also enjoy the added value and interaction that it brings.

This is why it is important for operators to offer VIP tables that are set against more luxurious backdrops and with higher limits.

As live dealer continues to increase in popularity, operators will have to ensure they offer streams across all the games (blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, etc) and from all providers.

They will also have to think about creating special welcome offers and promotions for live dealer, and also how the vertical can be integrated into loyalty schemes.

It wasn’t that long ago that live dealer was seen as a nice addition to an operator’s game lobby, but today it is an absolute must.

Live dealer is not only great at acquisition – appealing to new players and helping to build trust – but it is a powerful retention tool for all player types – VIPs in particular.

Here at Conquer Casino, we believe live dealer is only going to become more popular and have an even more dominant position in casino game portfolios.

The vertical really is live and kicking.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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eSports

Betting firms have responsibility to tackle esports corruption

Zoltan Tundik

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In this photo: Luckbox CEO Lars Lien
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Gambling companies have a responsibility to stamp out corruption in esports, according to one betting industry official.

The reputation of esports has been harmed by scandals including match-fixing, cheating and underage gambling.

Recent examples include CSGO player forsaken being banned after using a hack in an ESL Premiership event and Clash Royale payer Jimit Bhatt being suspended for 12 months for cheating.

Lars Lien, founder and CEO of esports betting operator Luckbox.com, says the legitimate operators in the gambling industry have a duty to help clean up the reputation of esports.

Luckbox is a member of the Esports Integrity Coalition, which works to maintain standards in esports.

Lien said: “Gambling will happen and it’s a matter of making sure that responsible operators work together to stamp out match-fixing and to help prevent it. We have an integral role in eliminating that from our world.

“This is why we’re part of ESIC, where we and other responsible operators share suspicious alerts. So if we see betting patterns that are not consistent with a normal match, we report to ESIC and they will investigate the event in question. They work with tournament organisers, teams, they educate players, they work to stamp it out.”

 

Players need to understand the risks

Luckbox holds an Isle Of Man gambling licence, which offers esports fans the highest levels of security and protection to bet on Dota 2, CSGO and League Of Legends.

Lien said it was also important for esports fans to be aware of the risks when choosing where to bet.

He said: “Recently, there’s a Reddit post that a gaming company stole $500 from them. There might be legitimate reasons for seizing the funds of a customer, because match-fixing is a problem in every sport, including esports.

“That gambling company might have very good reasons for seizing funds but the difference is if that company had a good licence, the customer would be able to go to the Gaming Commission, file a formal complaint and the Gaming Commission would help the customer get the money back if that seizure was unwarranted. There’s legal recourse.

“Operators in jurisdictions such as Curacao, Cyprus, many others. There’s no recourse. I could borrow a Curacao licence if I wanted to.

“Esports has seen the skin-betting scandals where operators have let 12-year-olds play using their parents’ credit cards. Children don’t have the same understanding of gambling risks. Even with adults, you will have problematic behaviour.

“Betting should enhance your experience, it should not be the experience. If someone loses their house, that’s a bad thing, of course.

“This is also part of the distinction between the good guys and the bad guys. We have deposit limits, we have responsible gaming limits, we will make sure our players are over 18 and we will be looking for problematic behaviour, so we can help people not spend more on gambling than they can afford.”

 

Learning from the best

Lien said he was motivated to obtain the Isle of Man licence after working at PokerStars, which is also based on the island. In 2011, the US government banned online poker and PokerStars was able to return funds to players while rival Full Tilt collapsed.

Lien said: “You can either be one of the good guys, that has a proper licence, where all of the player funds are segregated from the funds of the company.

“We have what’s called a ‘client account’, which is similar to what a lawyer would have to keep the funds of their clients, that’s completely legally and physically separated from the funds of the business.

“I worked for PokerStars and the Department of Justice, in the US, decided they wanted to shut down the poker scene. They filed complaints against PokerStars and one of the competitors, Full Tilt. What happened?

“PokerStars, because they had taken licensing seriously from day one – they actively and intentionally got the strictest gambling licence in the world (the Isle of Man) – and as a consequence of that they were forced into having good corporate governance, good structures, good compliance. They were forced into doing things right and Full Tilt did not.

“So when the Department of Justice pulled the rug from under the industry, FullTilt collapsed. Customers couldn’t get their money, everything was black, no one understood how they would get their money back. They didn’t have the money, PokerStars did and paid everyone back in a matter of weeks.”

 Make sure to view the video where, Lars Lien, CEO of Luckbox, discusses the role of betting in the esports industry, and how proper regulation can solve the issues that it raises.

 

About Luckbox

Luckbox was founded by former PokerStars colleagues Lars Lien and Mike Stevens. Luckbox was built by a team combining vast experience in the igaming industry and a passion for esports to offer players unique and highly social platform for CSGO gambling, Dota 2 and League of Legends betting. Real Time Games Holding Limited – the company behind the Luckbox brand – holds a full licence under the Online Gambling Regulation Act (OGRA), issued by the Gaming Supervision Commission. Luckbox is a proud member of ESIC and is committed to supporting responsible gambling.

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Industry News

Altenar enters Sweden’s regulated market with LuckyCasino

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Leading sportsbook platform provider Altenar has launched its first client in the regulated Swedish market, with LuckyCasino.com going live with its software in late May.

The addition of Altenar’s sportsbook marks LuckyCasino’s first foray into sports betting and adds to its existing casino product portfolio of slots, table games and live casino.

“We are really pleased with the work that Altenar has done, which will strengthen our customer offer and improve our competitiveness,” said Martin Sidenvall, Director at Glitnor Group, which took over LuckyCasino in July last year.

Part of LuckyCasino’s customer offering is that it uses the Trustly simplified registration process, something which is proving very popular in Sweden as it allows players to begin betting without needing to create an account.

As part of its preparation for the launch, Altenar’s first with an operator using Trustly, it designed a new feature to mitigate the risk of fraud that can occur in sports betting due to the potential for misuse of inside information.

Limits are set, which can vary from operator to operator and segment to segment, and when payouts go over that limit Altenar will manually approve settlements.

Dinos Stranomitis, Chief Operating Officer at Altenar, said: “Over the past 12 months this unique deposit and withdrawal method that allows people to bet on sports or play casino has revolutionised player habits in Sweden. We are excited to launch our first regulated Swedish client with such an innovative selling point.

“We think this will become increasingly popular and so we have adapted our process so that good customers can enjoy the services of Trustly, but those who might attempt any type of fraud will be monitored and blocked.”

Altenar is also preparing to launch imminently with other newly licensed operators in the Swedish market, with upcoming partnerships also expected to integrate Trustly.

The Swedish launch marks Altenar’s second regulated market entry this year, having also secured its first Romanian client earlier this year with Red Sevens.

About Altenar

Altenar is a leading provider of sportsbook software and services to gaming operators. Its clients include Wplay.co, the dominant sportsbook operator in the regulated Colombian market, Betrebels in Greece, Winbet in Bulgaria and Betbiga in Nigeria.

It offers an extensive range of markets and sports thanks to its premium data package with Betradar, from which it holds gold certified status. It has also recently integrated the Betgenius live events portfolio.

For further queries, please contact marketing@altenar.com

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Industry News

Gill Whitehead Joins Camelot UK Lotteries as Non-Executive Director

Niji Narayan

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Gill Whitehead Joins Camelot UK Lotteries as Non-Executive Director
Photo Source: shutterstock.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Camelot UK Lotteries Limited has appointed Gill Whitehead as its Non-Executive Director. Gill replaces David Kelly, who has become Chair of Camelot’s sister company, Camelot Lottery Solutions.

Gill has over 20 years’ experience in a number of leading companies including Google, Channel 4 and BBC. She joined Google in 2016 and is currently the Senior Director, Client Solutions & Analytics at Google. Prior to Google, Gill was an Executive Committee Member, and held roles as Director of Audience Technologies & Insight and Director of Strategy & Corporate Development at Channel 4 Television Corporation. Prior to that, she held a number of senior executive roles at the BBC.

Gill also held a number of Board appointments, including as a Non-Executive Director at the Financial Ombudsman Service and Board Director of both Youview Television and Freeview Television.

“I would like to welcome Gill – whose extensive experience in digital transformation, data and analytics, and consumer insight within high-calibre UK businesses will ensure that innovation continues to be at the forefront of our strategy. She is an ideal fit to continue to boost the standard and skillset of our Board, and I very much look forward to working with her,” Camelot Chairman, Sir Hugh Robertson said.

“At the same time, I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank David for his expertise and guidance since I joined last summer, and also for his over four years of tenure on the Board. David’s in-depth knowledge of internet and technology businesses has been crucial in helping ensure our National Lottery digital products have gone from strength to strength. We wish him all the very best of luck in his new role as Chair of Camelot Lottery Solutions,” Hugh Robertson added.

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