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Behind the Scenes at a Playtech Live Casino Studio

Posted on June 19, 2024 | 12:08 pm

At Parx Casino, familiar sounds of slot machines and victory celebrations fill the air. However, tucked away in a quieter section of the building, a different kind of casino experience unfolds. Beyond the “authorized personnel only” doors, up a few flights of elevators, and past security guards, lies Playtech’s live-dealer studio. Here, blackjack and roulette games are dealt by real dealers for real money, but with no physical customers present.

Operating 24/7 year-round, Playtech’s Bensalem, Pennsylvania studio is one of three in the United States. Unlike traditional casinos, this studio resembles a television set. Boom mics hang from the ceiling, lights are carefully positioned, and cables, cameras, and monitors surround the small, 286-square-foot space. Despite its compact size, this studio hosts five gaming tables, giving the illusion of a spacious casino to viewers placing bets through the betParx or BetRivers apps.

This blend of physical and digital gambling offers an experience that’s both modern and reminiscent of classic casinos. Gia Reece, who transitioned from nursing to casino management in 2014, now oversees operations at Playtech’s newest studio in Pennsylvania. Her journey began in the Philippines, where she initially joined Playtech as a pit boss before moving to the U.S. in 2020. Reece’s role involves managing projects, IT, compliance, and most critically, hiring dealers.

Reece emphasizes the importance of personality in her hires, stating, “The personality is the product. It’s not the casino games. Skills, you can train. But personality, that’s something within them.” Dealers like “Allison,” who use stage names, appreciate the safer environment compared to traditional casinos, where intoxicated patrons can sometimes be aggressive.

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Personal Connections

Interaction is key in live-dealer studios. Dealers engage with players via a chat box, creating a rapport that enhances the gaming experience. Catherine Grasso, a pit boss at the studio, notes, “A lot of the dealers have what I’d consider a fan base.” Players often log in just to chat with their favorite dealers, reflecting the personal connections formed.

The studio’s setup involves rotating dealers every 30 minutes, with shifts split into three eight-hour segments. The overnight crew receives a 20% pay premium. Pit bosses monitor the action from a control room, ensuring fair play and addressing any issues flagged by dealers.

Responsible gambling is a priority, with systems in place to identify problematic behavior through chat monitoring. Dealers can flag concerns, prompting pit bosses and external monitors to intervene if necessary.

Blackjack is the studio’s most popular game, offered in standard and all-bets formats. The latter allows unlimited players to bet on the same hand, enhancing revenue potential. Playtech plans to introduce more games, including live-dealer baccarat and a trivia game show, alongside a new sports-themed mini-studio.

Reece’s focus is on keeping pace with technological changes and maintaining sufficient staff. “The pace is crazy, but you manage to keep up,” she says, reflecting on her decade-long career in the industry. As live dealer games evolve, they offer a unique blend of the old and new, appealing to both seasoned gamblers and newcomers alike.

Source“‘The Personality Is The Product’: Behind The Scenes At A Live-Dealer Online Casino Studio“Casino Reports. June 13, 2024.

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