Today, the online casino industry is almost unrecognizable from the sector that was hitting its straps just five-to-ten years ago. In the UK, online casino revenue generates over a third of all gambling revenues, cementing it as the most popular gambling sector in Britain. These trends are being felt elsewhere around the world too and the online casino industry as one major technological advancement to thank for its growing number of participants – live streaming technology.
Real-time live streaming has changed classic casino table games like blackjack and roulette forever. Many online casino operators have powered video blackjack tables for several years now. At the time of their release, video blackjack tables were considered cutting-edge, with decentralised random number generators (RNG) delivering random outcomes for every single game. These advancements helped it become the most extensively played card game online, even at newly established sites like SkyCity Casino. One aspect that video blackjack is unable to fulfil is the social engagement of a land-based blackjack table. That’s the gap in the market that live dealer casino technology as sought to fill.
How does a live casino work?
It all starts with the cameras. For most live dealer casino table games, there will be multiple camera angles offered. This gives players a chance to get closer to the action than ever before, without physically being at the table. These cameras operate in high-definition (HD), bringing you crystal-clear streams to your desktop or mobile device. You will need a reliable Wi-Fi or 4G connection for this to work.
Game Control Unit
Every live casino table will have a game control unit (GCU) attached. This boxed device is the technology that encodes the video broadcast to your desktop screen or smartphone or tablet device. Without a GCU, it wouldn’t be possible to transfer the live stream to you in real-time.
Most live dealer casinos will employ professionally trained dealers and croupiers to manage the action at the tables and ensure a steady flow of hands per hour. The dealer will rely largely on their game monitor to see the progress of each game. The monitor helps them to keep track of the bets placed in each round and those hands that are losing hands and can be considered dead. The dealers’ monitors are also vital to facilitate the real-time engagement between dealers and players. The live chat box has helped to replicate the welcoming, social environment of bricks-and-mortar casinos.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology
Although a live casino table could not function without a GCU, it would be rather sluggish without the use of OCR technology too. OCR is designed to transform physical data into a digestible electronic format, such as the value of a playing card displayed on the table. OCR hardware captures all aspects of a game of live blackjack for instance, including whether a player opts to split their hand or double-down. The end result is that players are updated a split second after the card or result is shown to the camera. OCR is used in many other sectors to translate physical content onto digital interfaces, with historic organizations like the British Library using it to digitize their centuries-old relics.
Placing wagers from the comfort of your own home is easier than ever and thanks to live casino software providers like Evolution Gaming, NetEnt and Playtech, this technology is here to stay, posing a genuine threat to real-life casinos.