Decoding the Architecture of Immersive Live Dealer Studios

Decoding the Architecture of Immersive Live Dealer Studios

When it comes to specialist design, there are few projects more niche than the creation of studios for online live dealer gambling. While they share some characteristics with TV or film studios, the interactive nature of the product means they have their own unique requirements.

While live dealer gaming is one of the strongest current growth verticals in online gambling, it is still not an area everyone is familiar with. So here is a little background into this type of gaming. While online casino gambling has been around for a while, the most played games have been digital versions of fruit machines. These come in all kinds of themes and guises, with expert reviews at sorting them into the best and also-rans. Animated versions of popular table games like roulette and poker are always popular, too; however, they lack a sense of reality and are often played solo.

Live dealer gambling allows players to get a real-life casino experience without leaving home. They get to interact with a real croupier and ‘sit’ alongside other real players at the casino table. There is a wide choice of card and dice games to choose from. The gameplay is immediate and 100% interactive, so it happens in a virtual, immersive way. The irony is that while the player feels like they are in an actual casino, the live dealer is in a studio somewhere and possibly nowhere near a bricks-and-mortar casino.

While some of the games are broadcast from the floors of large international casinos, there are also bespoke studios that have been created to appear to be in a casino but are actually coming from the equivalent of a TV studio. Like a film set, they look like the real deal but are, in fact, a façade. To the player, they have everything you would expect to find in a top glamourous casino, but for the operating company, they are a set for the tech that drives them.

As with any TV or film studio, soundproofing and lighting are critical. The world of online gambling is truly global, and it is a 24/7 operation. This means that live-dealer specialists like Evolution Gaming will have studios in various locations around the world. The studios are linked to enable continuous gameplay regardless of time zone. The gambler might play at the tables at different times of the day. To them, everything will look the same, but the gameplay could be coming from anywhere. So the design needs to be a format that can be replicated in multiple locations and look identical in each place.

However, the studios also need to be customisable. This is because there are only a few companies who have the software and know-how to operate the studios, but every online casino wants to be able to offer their customers a unique experience tailored to their brand. Therefore, within a block of studios in one location, there could be individual studios for various operators. In a way, the design needs to be like that of a theatre, where everything is in place for the set designer to create an immersive world.

It is essential that the design has plenty of space for the technology to be installed. Live dealer gaming is mostly about the technology. The best dealer and game-makers in the world will have no chance to shine if their services cannot be broadcast. In addition, the gambler at home has to feel fully part of the action. This is achieved by having a large number of cameras in situ which offer the player multiple camera angles from which to view the play.

The gameplay itself is facilitated through Optical Character Recognition (OCR), where the images on the cards are digitised and readable by computer software. Bets placed and cards laid are processed instantly, so play appears in real-time. It goes without saying that the design has to take into consideration available connectivity, as upload and download speeds are critical.


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BDC 309 : Oct 2023