Here at onlinecasino.ie we have been watching the development of online casinos for quite a long time, and during that time we have reported on a number of innovations which the site operators have introduced to improve their customers’ experience, including the live online casino option. When the big bookmakers first began to introduce a few casino games onto their online sports gambling sites it quickly became apparent that their initial strategy above everything else was to increase the number of casino games they offered as quickly as possible. This led to an explosion in the number and variety of slots games we could play online and put a lot of pressure on the casino software companies to design and supply more and more of that type of game rather than other potential developments such as improving the quality of the computer graphics. There was however one problem which needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency, and that related to the traditional casino game of roulette. We have to remember that the idea of gambling on casino games online was a new concept, and it was important for the online casino site operators to ensure that their customers could trust that the games were fair and not too heavily weighted in favour of the house. Almost all the casino games featured on the online casinos rely on a Random Number Generator or RNG to determine the winning number or combination of symbols, but for most of us our only experience of an RNG was the one named ERNIE which was used to pick the winning Premium Bonds. Nevertheless the use of RNG’s by online casinos proved perfectly acceptable until it came to the game of roulette. Clearly roulette was probably one of the most popular casino games, particularly among those people who started to play casino games at a real casino, so any potential problems with roulette were likely to be more influential than with most other games. The problem was that the casino software designers were unable to satisfactorily illustrate the movement of the ball on the roulette wheel graphics as it moved to the winning number selected by the RNG. Nowadays we have become used to playing casino games online and trusting the fairness of the RNG’s, but in the early days the problems with the graphics relating to roulette began to fuel doubts in some players’ minds. The situation clearly had to be resolved as quickly as possible and led to the development of the live online casino option we now find on almost every online casino site.
In retrospect the answer to the problem was fairly obvious, but still required the appropriate software to be put in place for it to work. Most observers credit the casino software company Playtech with being the first to develop the idea of streaming casino games such as roulette from a remote studio using real dealers and of course a real roulette wheel. The first studios were mostly set up in Eastern Europe because of the lower costs involved, but for the players it did not really matter where the games were being played, only that they appeared fair and above board. Nowadays almost every online casino offers the game of roulette in the live online casino mode, and many also offer baccarat and blackjack streamed from a remote studio with real dealers. This approach certainly improved the perception of fairness in the game of roulette, but as we have already indicated it also increased the operating costs for the site. One of the biggest advantages of playing casino games at an online casino is that we can play most games for very small stakes because the operating costs are much lower than for a real casino. Unfortunately some online casinos have felt that they need to increase the minimum table stakes for players playing roulette in the live casino mode because of the increased costs, thereby pricing some players out of the game. The higher stakes are also not the only problem that the live online casino option creates for some players. Casino games such as roulette are popular because of the opportunity to place multiple bets on each spin of the wheel, but that takes time. Those of us who have played roulette in a real casino will be well aware of the mayhem which can occur as a number of players try place their bets on a busy roulette table within the time allowed by the dealer, but for those people who have only played roulette at an online casino they are used to having as much time as they like to place their bets. That is however not possible in the live casino mode because the dealers cannot see the players and therefore have to manage the games to strict time scales, therefore reducing the time allowed to place your bets. Recently we have also seen a new form of live online casino option being trialled, with the games actually being streamed live in real time from a real casino. If you are looking for an online experience which gets closer to playing casino games at a real casino then this form of live online casino may well be the answer, although the drawbacks with regard to the minimum table stakes and the time limits on placing your bets still clearly exist.
The original reason why the live casino option was first introduced was to quell any potential doubts as to whether the online casino games were fair and above board. Those doubt probably no longer exist for most online casino customers nowadays, because we have got used to the idea of RNG’s being used to determine whether we win or lose and we are more willing to trust the site operators. It is also fair to say that the online casino regulators are also much better at ensuring that RNG’s are providing a fair gambling environment than they perhaps were in the early days of online casino gambling.