So we’re finally nearing the end of 2018, and what a year it has been for the live casino sector! We’ve already summed up the biggest news of the year in last week’s column – but the world of live casino news is a fast moving one, so there’s more to fill you in on from over the past few weeks. Just a couple of our stories this week include a massive end-of-year live casino tournament at Unibet and a big change to all Netent Blackjack tables. Read on to find out more!
First up we have Unibet, who announced this this week that they are to join the influx of online gambling operators entering the legal US market of New Jersey. In a partnership with Evolution Gaming, who opened a studio in Atlantic City earlier this year, Unibet will provide online casino and live casino services to US customers.
Unibet already operates in 100 countries across Europe and further afield, but the US market has remained a tough nut to crack for operators for many years. Cristiano Blanco, head of Unibet owners Kindred Group, said: “The Unibet brand has a strong footprint in Europe where it has enjoyed exciting growth in Live Casino, thanks in large part to our relationship with Evolution. Now that Evolution has launched its US studio, we look forward very much to establishing and growing the Unibet brand in New Jersey and, in due course, in other US states too.”
Kindred Group own many online casinos, but Unibet is their flagship brand. European players can try Unibet’s exclusive Evolution Gaming tables today, but American players may have to wait until sometime next year.
NetEnt add Blackjack Side Bets
Finally! Side bets are basically standard at most online live blackjack tables in today’s market, and it was curious (to say the least) that Swedish operator NetEnt had chosen to omit them for so long. The two side bets they will be adding, as optional extras for casinos, are:
These are both standard side bets at live blackjack tables, but NetEnt treats their pay-outs slightly differently. The 21+3 bet is based upon the dealer’s hand and yours making a poker hand. However, NetEnt will pay out 100:1 on a suited trips – which isn’t something you see at many live tables.
Hopefully, this will go some way to catching up NetEnt’s live blackjack offering to that of truly top-tier providers like Evolution. For now, you can try their live games out at Casumo, Rizk and Mr. Green.
£75,000 End of Year Tournament at Unibet
For a little extra excitement this Christmas, you could do worse than enter Unibet’s £75,000 End-of-Year tournament extravaganza. With over 400 prize places available, ranging up to £10,000 for the overall winner, play may well be fast and furious.
Simply bet £0.10 on any live casino table between Monday the 24th of December and 23:59 on Sunday the 6th of January, to enter yourself. The 400 players with the highest turnover, including all live casino games, will win a cash prize – starting at £10. Only real money bets will qualify for this promotion. All prizes are treated as cash and as such have no wagering requirements.
* T&C Apply to all bonuses. Must be 18+ to participate. Please gamble responsibly. Visit begambleaware.org for more details.
Betsson Shifting NetPlay Operations to Malta
We wrote about several of Betsson’s NetPlay Group casinos (including NetPlayTV and Jackpot 24/7) in our Betsson In-Depth review piece a few months ago. We noted their main attraction of live TV streamed games but were otherwise not too impressed with the service. It seems that Betsson themselves are inclined to agree.
Having previously indicated that the NetPlay sites may have played a role in their slowed growth last year, Betsson has now decided to close the group’s London studios and move the operation to nearer their headquarters in Malta. Whether the move had anything to do with the upcoming Brexit, is unclear. However, Betsson definitely have to act after a string of largely unsuccessful acquisitions spearheaded by former director Ulrik Bengtsson.
For now, the best place to sample Betsson Group casino gameplay remains their flagship site Betsson itself.
Leo Vegas Christmas Trip to Finland
Lastly, we have Leo Vegas – who are offering new customers a chance to win a five-day holiday to the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort. This includes half-board accommodation, return economy flights and up to six different organised activities, chosen from a list of seven that includes:
A husky safari
A reindeer safari
A trip to Lake Inari, including a Sami culture experience and Nordic Skiing instruction
Simply sign up to Leo Vegas between the Sunday the 9th of December and Monday the 31st, deposit £50 and wager it on live casino or casino games to earn one ticket into the draw. Players must also opt in to bonus marketing communications when signing up to be eligible.
Winners will be contacted on the 2nd of January. An alternative cash prize of £4000 can also be claimed. Only one ticket available per player during the promotional period.
You can try your hand at Leo Vegas through the link below, and possibly win a beautiful Lapland Winter experience if you haven’t already signed up as well.
And that, is us here at LiveDealers.com signing out for 2018! Hope you have a great holiday season, and a Happy New Year too.
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