2018 in the Live Dealer Arena: A Recap
2018 was a big year in the live dealer casino scene, with many big developments and news stories happening each month. We’ve been keeping track of the main stories in our weekly live dealer news segments – but we thought it was high time we did a full 2018 recap of all the biggest events of the year. So, grab yourself a festive tipple and let’s go on a whirlwind recap of one of the live dealer sector’s biggest years to date!
Casumo’s Big Redesign
First off we have Casumo casino, who came in storming towards the end of the year. With the debut of no less than four exclusive Casumo branded private live tables in collaboration with Evolution Gaming, and their own unique spin on that same developer’s Dream Catcher spinning wheel game, Casumo certainly put their chips down on the live dealer space this year.
All their exclusive tables, and Topwheel Treasures, were decked out stylishly with Casumo’s minimal design at the forefront. Even the dealer’s outfits were customised to fit with the vibrant Casumo branding! They also chose to launch several live blackjack bonus-card based promotions throughout the rest of the year, utilising this live dealer technology to its fullest. Needless to say, we highly look forward to seeing what Casumo will do in 2019!
Evolution Buys Ezugi
Next up we have probably the biggest news of the year in the business side of things, when November saw heavyweight live casino developer Evolution Gaming buy out rival developer Ezugi in a $12 million deal. Founded in 2012, Ezugi had just opened a new studio in the legal online US market of New Jersey and were looking to expand even further in 2019.
We’ve praised some of Ezugi’s innovative approaches to live casino titles at LiveDealers.com before, including their live blackjack tables which offer some unique features. For example, Turkish speaking live dealer blackjack and the suited trips 100:1 pay-out on their 21+3 side bets. It seems though, that Ezugi will continue to operate with a good degree of autonomy – meaning that these innovations and new ideas will only be strengthened by the budget increase from Evolution’s takeover.
In what was probably the biggest release of the year, Evolution Gaming really came up with something unique here. Mixing live dealer technology with traditional online casino RNG (Random Number Generator) solutions to create something entirely new, Lightning Roulette also picked Global Gaming Award for Best Casino Innovation.
The game offers enhanced pay-outs on certain random numbers for players making straight up bets, which go as high as 150:1. These change dynamically every round and are accompanied by lightning sparks and electrifying sound effects to offer a truly new and exciting experience. Deserved award winners for sure – and hopefully 2019 will bring more innovative games from Evolution Gaming!
The Live Gaming Summit
Way back in April, the Live Casino scene’s biggest meeting of the year took place in Barcelona, with representatives from all the biggest developers, casinos and affiliates in attendance. Held at the Casino Barcelona, hundreds of the industry’s biggest stars gave and watched talks on a range of topics that included the following:
- Studios and Table Streaming
- Localization and Private Tables
- In-venue (closed loop) Live gaming
- Product dev & tech, Virtual Reality
- Regulatory Developments
- Television Gaming
There was also a fantastic dinner and a small awards ceremony to celebrate the best talent the sector has to offer. Moving into its third year this year, the summit has gone from strength and truly shows how much the Live Casino arena has been growing over the past few years. Hopefully we’ll be in attendance in 2019, and long may it continue.
Dream Catcher’s Big Jackpot Pay-out
This November saw possibly the biggest Live Casino jackpot ever paid out, when 158 players scored a massive 343×40, or £13,270, windfall for every £1 they bet on Evolution’s Dream Catcher. This spinning wheel game has always had the potential for massive jackpot wins, but we doubt any of the players here expected to win that ridiculous amount of money – with the total pay-out reaching just shy of £2.1 million. With the ticker hitting on 7x bonus multiplier a ridiculous three times, and then landing on the 40 segment, one can only imagine the excitement those 158 players must have felt!
These kind of wins can only be a good thing for both players and casinos in the long run, providing a big end-of-year cash boost for the lucky winners and drawing in more players with the possibility of emulating their feat in the future.
Lastly, the *ahem* most important news of 2018: we here at LiveDealers.com started our journey to become the number one source for live casino guides, reviews, news, opinions and more! If you’re reading this, we’re very grateful to have you with us and we’re truly optimistic to see where 2019 will be heading for us – and the live dealer scene in general.
So that’s us signing off, for now, wishing you happy New Year and may your 2019 be filled with luck and prosperity!
The LiveDealers.com team.