Gambling is one of Britain’s favourite pastimes, and the industry is increasing year after year. According to statistics published by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the total gambling market was worth £14.3 billion between October 2018 and September 2019, with online gambling holding the largest share of the market, accounting for 38% of the industry’s revenue and reaching more than £5 million, the majority of which coming from England. Known for enforcing strict rules and high standards of transparency and gambling awareness, the Gambling Commision makes the UK online casino markets one of the most highly regulated in the world.
Statistics reported by Satista indicated that 21% of the UK adult population had engaged in some form of online gambling over the previous month. The most popular form of gambling in the United Kingdom, online casino games such as roulette and other table games amount to a large part of the Gross Gambling Yield (GGY. Between October 2018 and September 2019, the study by the UKGC shows that online slots comprised 69% of the total GGY, while roulette was the second most played game with 13% of the total revenue.
As the COVID-10 pandemic started in 2020, many countries around the world issued lockdowns and social distancing measures to prevent the spreading of the virus. With these restrictions, traditional land-based casinos were forced to shut down, which led to an increase in the number of players in online casinos. In the United Kingdom, casinos and other gambling venues were closed for the third time in December 2020, and haven’t returned to operations since.
With this rise in the number of users, online casinos also experienced a boost in the demand for live dealer games. Players tired of the same old slot machines started turning their attention to these live games, seeking an authentic casino experience with real-time results, and the same fairness and unpredictability as brick-and-mortar venues.
What are live dealer casino games?
Nowadays, every reputable online casino offers classic games live which players can enjoy in real time on multiple platforms. Unlike most online casino games that rely on random numbers generators to provide results, live games are hosted by professional croupiers who operate the game at the moment of playing. Featuring live video streaming allows players to see the actions of the dealers and the whole gameplay as if they were in a traditional brick-and-mortar casino.
One of the biggest advantages of live dealer games is that players are able to witness the whole gaming process as it happens, without the necessity of software generated results, as professional croupiers can provide a more trustworthy feel. Apart from that, players can communicate and interact with the dealers through the live chat feature present in almost every online casino, granting an authentic casino experience.
To ensure the most accurate feel to bettors playing from their homes and enduring severe lockdowns, online casinos stream these games from luxurious casinos and broadcast studios, using some of the best streaming technology available, providing high-quality video and clear audio.
Partnering with leading software suppliers like Evolution Gaming and Microgaming, online casinos are able to offer a large selection of live games with special features and bonuses, and make them available in multiple platforms, including mobile devices. Most reputable online casinos also offer features that help ensure responsible gambling and are part of GamStop, a free self-exclusion scheme that helps players restrict online gambling activities.
Most popular live dealer games
Currently, almost every online casino provides players with the opportunity to experience many casino classics with live dealers and in real time. Bettors can find a number of game variations and tables with different betting limits and ambiance.
Roulette is one of the most popular live games in online casinos, and is usually offered in its classic and French variations. The rules applied in online casinos are the same as land-based venues, with a few additional features like favourite bets and bet history.
A favourite in traditional brick-and-mortar casinos, Blackjack is also available in these websites, with several rules and limits, including unlimited and progressive blackjack. One interesting innovation in live blackjack games is the optional bet “Bet Behind”, which can be placed on another participant in the game.
Baccarat is also very favoured in live casino because, unlike blackjack, it doesn’t require any particular skills or strategy and offers lower house advantage. Most websites provide several additional side bets that can greatly increase payouts.