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Edo Haitin, managing director for live casino at Playtech, presented a session at iGaming NEXT: Valletta ’21 titled ‘Mid Game Action – A Live experience to Next Level Entertainment’, to ask the question: what’s next for live casino?

After offering a round of applause to the live casino dealers and staff at live studios around the world, to show the industry’s appreciation for their hard work, Haitin explored the history of the live casino vertical – from the establishment of dedicated studios and the launch of gameshows – to the point where the industry finds itself today.

But, what’s next for live? The value of live is in the creation of a community feeling, Haitin said, and quality games and high-speed video are just the basic requirements. Now is the time to see where the product will take gaming to next.

“I believe that live is the best positioned vertical to allow the next level entertainment strategy,” he said.

Haitin pointed out that online gaming is competing with other ‘time spent’ providers, such as video platforms, and the industry must therefore ask itself what it is giving users in return for their time.

Live dealers are there to provide entertainment, explanations and value to viewers, he said – and during the growth of the industry, they have been maturing. These dealers are ready for the next step, Haitin claimed, and the players are ready as well.

So how can live casino providers continue giving value to players? Not only through the live casino tab, but using the live product together with other verticals.

“I think that live is the tool that all of us will be using more and more in other verticals.” And while casino games will remain in their tab, other games including sports betting may have live elements accompanying them.

Haitin said live will eventually be the best tool operators can use to differentiate their brands. Through live hosts on slot lobbies, live customer support, and other integrations of live elements into different parts of the gaming experience, he argued that live will be one of the biggest drivers of brand differentiation moving forward.

He also reminded the audience that players from the US are beginning to enter the market – and that with them, they will bring new demands and expectations, and in turn influence other markets across the world.

Haitin said he believes the change these customers will bring will be a focus on entertainment and fun – not only within the games themselves, but in everything that operators offer, on platform and on-site, and via its customer services.

He also encouraged operators to work more closely with their live gaming suppliers – as ultimately the dealers and games become the face of the operator’s brand, not just the supplier brand.

Embrace live as part of the strategy, he encouraged attendees, and don’t think of it as just another category. Go into that next level of entertainment, the next phase of allowing our players to have fun.

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