Live casino private areas started growing fast. By year’s end there had been significant expansions and/or redesigns at William Hill, 888, Unibet, Mr Green, Marathonbet, Grosvenor, Genting, Bwin, Royal Panda and Leo Vegas.
Bitcoin continued to be topical. A self proclaimed inventor stepped forward, failed to prove his claims and then crawled back under the rock of obscurity from which he’d sprung. Then the Gambling Commission gave the crypto-currency its stamp of approval opening the door for UK licensed online casinos accepting Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals.
Impatient high rollers were given a ‘deal now‘ button to get things moving quickly on those occasions when they have the whole blackjack table to themselves. Not such rare occasions as it turns out on the very high limit tables.
Evolution made the engraver’s job easy, taking the EGR B2B Live Casino Supplier of the Year trophy for a 7th consecutive year. In other awards, Unibet was named Operator of the Year and Paddy Power Casino Operator of the Year.
An unexpected Brexit had the regulators scrambling.
Licensed, US based live dealers made their first ever appearance. As did live dealers streamed from a number of other newly regulated locations….Brussels, St Vincent in the Italian Alps and Romania. More in-casino streams came online including roulette from London’s Hippodrome Casino.
August saw the next big new game launch: Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker. Along with launches, there were closures. First Lucky Live Casino, then Smart Live Casino. We also wondered about Microgaming’s live dealer future after major licensees Betway and 32Red jumped ship.
The popularity of live dealers on mobile continued to grow at a surprisingly fast rate, now accounting for up to 40% of play at one major platform. A little late to the party, even Netent decided they’d better go mobile.
In November the Donald confounded the pollsters and cost Paddy Power a pretty penny.
In the blink of an eye, it was Christmas again.
With a touch of symmetry, the year was book ended in a similar way to which it had began; with a shiny, new, feng shui compliant red and gold live baccarat table. This time Prestige Baccarat from Playtech.
Have a great new year, and we’ll see you in 2017!