Major highlights this month were the opening of another big private table area and more features for mobile players.
Grosvenor goes native
So the big launch of July was a new exclusive table area for Grosvenor in Evolution Gaming’s Malta studio.
By the end of the first week 7 blackjack tables, 1 roulette table and a management desk for the live casino host were fully operational. Extra capacity exists in the newly built area for more tables to open in future.
The amicable host is present evenings when the tables are most busy and frequent promotions are running.
Transferring their existing private tables from the Riga studio to Malta confused some players at the tables and left them wondering why. When news of the proposed move first broke I speculated that the increased availability of native(UK) and Maltese dealers may in part be the reasoning and subsequently this has proven to be the case.
The roulette and UK VIP tables are assigned to the native(UK) dealer team at Malta. Grosvenor Casinos are especially keen to emphasise the use of native dealers for their UK customer base.
Live casino Product Manager Richard Walker is reported as saying,
The move to Malta will see Grosvenor increase our native offerings…coupled with the local Maltese staff who have English as a first language.
Moving to Malta also facilitated the increase of tables from their restricted Riga area which was unable to house all their existing private tables. Apparently during the move there was some talk of possibly reintroducing a private baccarat table as they previously had when the Riga area opened. Nevertheless Grosvenor have catered for baccarat players in another way (see below).
Overall the new dedicated tables and dealer team get a big thumbs up from me. I wasn’t sure about the new uniforms at first but I’m getting used to seeing the female dealers in ties :).
Further baccarat skirmishes
After years of European based live casinos focusing predominantly on blackjack and roulette the future continues to look more rosy for baccarat loving players. Another Evolution casino, this time Grosvenor, has joined Genting in now paying 9:1 on Tie bets. But whereas Genting is only paying 9:1 on their private table, Grosvenor have upped the payout on all the generic baccarat tables at Evolution.
Table variety, Leo style
Also new at Leo Vegas is a new bricks and mortar roulette table from Extreme Live Gaming. The table is situated inside the Admiral casino in Gibraltar.
By the end of the month more land based roulette tables from newcomer Authentic Gaming also appeared at Leo Vegas (not currently available to UK players).
Evolution’s Italian language tables have a brand new look in the Malta studio.
The new Immersive Lite roulette table sits proudly in front of the blackjack, Hold’em and baccarat tables. Complete with a stylish looking backdrop wall.
Who’s betting behind you
The next time you take a blackjack seat at Evolution watch out, anybody anywhere could be behind you. Well sort of. The Bet Behind feature has finally been implemented on mobile allowing players on Apple and Android devices to join the table action even when there no free seats.
The availability of Bet Behind on desktop and mobile features varies from casino to casino, and dependant on table limit. 888 casino is more unusual in that the feature is active for the Silver and red VIP tables.
Party goes mobile
Evolution’s general access Party Blackjack table began cropping up in the lobby of various mobile casinos from the start of July. Its first appearance on mobile was perhaps initially perplexing given the usual lack of free seats on the busy table. Obviously though it was a clear forerunner of what to expect next with the Bet Behind feature introduced later in the month for mobile players.
Also on mobile
The Deal Now feature was rolled out across mobile devices for those times when you find yourself the only player at an Evolution blackjack table. Especially useful for those players who
can’t wait 8 seconds to risk their next £1000 chip
as LD put it of the less busy, high limit tables.
July also saw more Evolution casinos switch to the new look live lobbys on mobile. Albeit not all have made the switch yet, including Unibet irrespective of their very large private table presence at Evolution across the Riga and Malta studios.
Rise of the machines II
Back in May’s blog I wrote of the increased use of shuffling machines at the live casinos. In July we witnessed another small step towards that fateful day when machines will replace all humankind. William Hill have dispensed with the dealer hand shuffle between rounds on their Mayfair poker (Casino Hold’em & Three Card) tables in favour of now using machine shuffled cards.
Previously William Hill always made virtue of using a traditional hand shuffle differentiating them from the generic poker tables at Evolution…..another tradition consigned to history then.
To quote LD again,
Hopefully they don’t introduce them on the blackjack tables
not least for the amount of noise they generate sounding like a washing machine. Although you probably wouldn’t be able to hear them above all the other noise in the Vegas area :P.