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What to Expect in Live Dealer in 2024

Nope, I don’t have a crystal ball, but I attended the ICE 2024 gaming conference in London between the 6th – 8th of February, where I met with all the live casino studios to see their plans for 2024 and what innovations are heading our way.

live dealer review 2024

You’ll be pleased to know that Live Dealer is now a well-established vertical in online gaming – it has been for a while.

Online casinos now seem to get it, with all of them having a live casino section on their websites and often hosting multiple suppliers.

Like any industry, you have well-established players. In Live, it’s long been Evolution and Playtech, but their mantle is being challenged by the likes of Pragmatic Play, On-Air Entertainment and StakeLogic. Over the past two years, we’ve seen a flurry of new operators enter the scene, with Winfinity and Beter Live doing better than others. Imagine Live, based in Armenia, started doing some cool things, but they have not had visibility with players due to a lack of licensing, which was resolved a few months ago with an MGA license. Other operators continue to make headway, with Lucky Streak being one that has improved the quality of their playing interface to keep players and partners happy.

So, what did the ICE 2024 conference reveal?

In summary, I’m seeing operators with winning formulas extending them across more games in their portfolios, Smaller operators playing catch up with Gameshows – everyone, it seems, needs a big wheel gameshow, while others are taking some time to refine their offerings, increasing the quality of presentation, the UIs and streaming capability.

Everyone now has access to the same tech, so the gap isn’t as great as it used to be.

Innovation is lacking this year. There was no one standout game, feature or experience that grabbed me. I’m pretty hard to please. There was one interesting thing going on at Ezugi: experimenting with Live Arcade games like Coin Push and The Claw. We won’t be winning fluffy toys, but I like how these games will explore playing features that we may see in more mainstream games further down the line.

More time is spent creating Promotional Tools for operators to offer players tournaments and bonuses.

I visited seventeen live casino providers and spent varying amounts of time with them. I had pre-arranged meetings with some, and others were walk-ups where I hoped to grab someone to speak to.

Another surprise for me was being recognised as I walked around. I guess my YouTube channel is watched by more people than I realised, so I’d like to thank those who came up to say hello.

Below you’ll find details of what I discovered while visiting the stands.

Video Review of ICE 2024

I take a wander round the ICE 2024 Conference and explain what I see.

live dealer review 2024 video

Evolution

Evolution is typically my first port of call. It’s jam-packed when you visit their stand on day 1, so the best time to visit is day 2/3, where you’ll get the demo games all to yourself.

I had a prearranged meeting, so I was good to go. My host took me through the new games for Evolution and Ezugi.

Lightning Storm is a new entertainment gameshow with a big wheel and five bonus rounds! The Lightning theme is extended with Lightning Dragon Tiger, while the Balloon Race uses a mix of RNG and a bingo machine to deliver multipliers. Cyber Dealer Speed Baccarat replaces the dealer with an Avatar, so it’s still a live game, but the image is a cartoon character. Always 8 Baccarat is a new spin on baccarat with adjusted payouts and side bets. Stock Mark Live, which is not live at all, completes the new games from Evolution.

Ezugi has upgraded its Baccarat studio and leads with Arcade Games Coin Push and Magic Claw. These live games need a physical machine for every player where you get to control the coin drops and the claw to win prizes. I’m quite looking forward to playing these.

evolution

Pragmatic Play

After a very busy year of game releases, Pragmatic Play had one reveal: Blackjack X, an RNG multi-seat game of Blackjack with side Bets. It looks pretty good for an RNG game.

Otherwise, the focus was more on game presentation and branding for its customers with their Virtual Studio product.

I didn’t win an iPhone for two consecutive blackjacks on their live blackjack game!

Playtech

I always enjoy my visits to the Playtech stand. You never quite know what you’ll discover as they are not one for big reveals on their stand.

There was talk about what may happen later in the year, but they kept that under wraps. Their purchase of Quick Spins is bringing more collaborative products. Sticky Bandit Roulette is one to be followed by Cash Collect Roulette. We’re also going to see more branded games, with some existing ones being opened up to the network, much like Fashion TV has recently done.

Vivo Gaming

There are no new games from Vivo, but a refresh of their lobby and playing interfaces has taken centre stage.

vivo

On Air Entertainment

On Air was displaying two new titles that are nearly ready for launch. Diamond Rush Roulette is a multiplier game on steroids, with all inside bets qualifying for the multipliers.

There is a second-wheel game called Majestic WheelShow, which has a nice presentation. It’s an adaption of the Wheel of Fortune games we have seen before. This one has a vertical wheel, unlike Travel Fever, which plays with a horizontally mounted wheel.

onair

StakeLogic

I had a long chat with the new head of Live Casino, Edgars Isajevs. We didn’t talk much about Staklogic’s live games; we talked more about the state of the live casino industry and my views of what made a good game.

We were interrupted by some of the product managers from Evolution, who knew Edgars from when he worked there and me as they watched my videos, and then later by the guy who developed Monopoly at Evolution. It’s a small world!

Winfinity

Winfinity is one of the live casino operators I’ve been watching. They have some stylish-looking games that ooze quality. I’ve recently reviewed their Cabaret Roulette, which is the first live casino developer to offer Multipliers on Outside Bets.

I didn’t know what to expect when I visited the stand. By chance, the presenter of Carabaret roulette when I did the video recognised me, so we had a nice chat about the game and working at Winfinity.

winfinity

Imagine Live

Imagine Live are another operator I’ve been keeping close tabs on. They are a relatively new start-up but have already built and released Blackjack, Roulette, Roulette and a game show, Pirates Plunder. They also have a robot arm used for Baccarat and Blackjack.

Their newest titles are Robin the Fair, a high/low game with multipliers, Sic Bo 102, Casino Hold’em and Roulette Rouge, another Cabaret-style roulette game.

Playing their games is challenging as they are not licensed in the UK, so I hope to resolve that soon to bring you some reviews.

imagine live

Lucky Streak Live

Lucky Streak is another operator that has been around for a while and has carved a niche of its own.

While they only have Blackjack, Roulette and Baccarat, they will invest in other games next year. This year has been about delivering a new user interface and improving the stream quality to rival their peers. The games have received an update, which I’ll share in my updated reviews later this month.

Eeze

I first bumped into EEze last year, and it looked like they had an established catalogue of live casino games that looked very similar to Evolutions.

This year at the show, they majored in showing a new Entertainment gameshow, Fantastic Time. They even had a small greenscreen studio showing how some games are created. With studios in the Philippines and Malta, I expected the business to be quite big, but there seems to be a bit of a rebuilding program underway that suggests otherwise. Look out for these guys. They have an MGA license, so we should start seeing more of their games online.

eeze

Creedzroom

Creedzroom had a large stand, but unfortunately for me, I was left to my own devices, as the salespeople seemed more interested in speaking to each other than engaging with walk-ups.

The handout I picked up contained a list of upcoming games, including Road to Eldorado, a big wheel gameshow, Dice Paradise, Twin Spin Roulette, Richie Roulette, Keno and Roulette Deluxe.

creedzroom

Superspade

I had a nice little chat with some people at Superspade. Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to know much about the product or be able to answer my questions—the one person who could was deep in conversation with someone else.

Their games include Baccarat, Roulette, Teen Patti 20-20, Dragon Tiger, Hi-Lo, Lucky Seven and Amar Akbar Anthony, which I don’t know anything about. Blackjack, Andar Bahar and Sic Bo are in the pipeline. They seem to be doing well in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, South America and South Africa.

7 Mojos

7 Mojos is another operator where I don’t see their games around much, but they are quietly doing their thing and getting a good following.

Last year, they presented the Sci-Fi-inspired games and, unbeknownst to me, were the first to use robot arms in Blackjack.

This year, they have a new game planned, but in the meantime, the playing interface for Roulette has been updated to include every facility you could want, while Galaxy Roulette has been added to the sci-fi-themed games.

7mojos

BETER Live

Following the launch of Blackjack, Baccarat, and Roulette, BETER Live introduced us to Gravity Roulette and Gravity Blackjack, which are both multiplier games.

Since then, Gravity Sic Bo and other variations of Blackjack and Baccarat have been released. Asian-themed Teen Patti and Andar Bahar games have joined Top Card and Dragon Tiger to complete the lineup.

Just as significant are the new Bonus and Tournament promotional tools now available to operators, enabling player retention.

Light & Wonder (Authentic Gaming)

There’s not much to say about Authentic Gaming. They were somewhat lost on the Light & Wonder Stand, so I found it challenging to locate someone to speak with.

On the upside, I bumped into one of the live dealers who presents 7’s On Fire. She also appeared in one of my review videos.

BetGames

This was another operator I couldn’t speak to as a walk-up.

The stand didn’t display live dealers much; you had to hunt for it on the provided demo systems.

A quick skim through them didn’t reveal much, and as for their plans for 2024, I’m afraid you’ll have to keep an eye on my news items for when they occur.

Live Casino 2024 Summary

I’ve become used to visiting ICE and seeing some really cool innovations. But the last two years has left me a bit flat.

I’m seeing the more prominent operators consolidating their games by re-using successful assets and features from previous games. There’s no harm in that, in fact it makes good business sense. The smaller operators are playing catchup. Everyone wants at least one game show in their portfolio which seems to follow the theme of a Big Wheel with Bonus Rounds. Again I understand the need to do this, but this doesn’t more the industry forward.

I’m saddened. Bonus rounds have seemingly become commoditised. They have lost being special. In fact you can get one virtually every other spin depending on the game you play. Gone are the days of playing for an hour to get a bonus round, earning a 10x payout, or repeating that process and landing a 500x. I hope that we’re seeing the last of developers diving down that rabbit hole and wish they’d deliver something new and different.

The last genuine innovations have been Lightning Roulette, which bought Multipliers to live dealers, and the Monopoly Bonus Round in DreamCatcher. That was at least three years ago. Of course, Crazy Time blew the wheels off everything and is yet to be topped.

Live Dealer isn’t just live casino games anymore. Understandably, RNG plays a much more significant role because it’s cheaper, and there are fewer restrictions over design. But I feel there are games to be made that rely on playing strategy, player decision-making, and being a good gambler.

The current batch of Entertainment games are neither entertaining nor good games to gamble on, so my plea to live game designers is to return to the basic principle of what makes a good gambling game and include the next batch of games you make.

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About Neil’s Casino Comparer Reviews

I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.

Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?

Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?

Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?

Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?

Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?

Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?

After all that, would I play there regularly?

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