Hit or Miss? - Virtual Dealers at Land-Based Casinos10 months ago
With Spintec’s recent demonstration of the latest addition to its Aura range of virtually-dealt, casino-floor games at the ICE London event, the iGaming giant is clearly betting big on the popularity of such units going forward. The latest game to be offered via the company’s “state-of-the-art multigame amphitheatre solution” is blackjack. However, just how the punters in casinos across the globe will take to their favourite games offered in a much more virtual format than they might be used to remains to be seen.
At first glance, the idea of virtual dealers in land-based casinos seems like little more than an efficient means to simply cut the running costs of gaming operations, ensuring greater profitability for those behind them. However, there are some compelling arguments to be made for the use of units featuring virtual dealers in land-based casinos from the player’s perspective too. In the following article, we’ll look at both the positives and the negatives surrounding them. Ultimately, your own opinion will likely depend on what it is you want to get out of your casino visit.
The Pros of Virtual Dealers
Some of the benefits of casino operators opting to use virtual dealers are blatantly clear. Chief amongst them is the potential for the units to increase the profitability of their operation. Virtual dealers can serve many different players at the same time. They are not restricted to accepting bets from those players surrounding one particular table. With a single dealer providing the action for so many bets, if such units prove popular, casino operators will seriously cash in.
However, its not just a potentially attractive proposition for the casino operators. There are some obvious benefits to the players themselves.
Firstly, players sitting at one of the virtually-dealt iGaming units will have the opportunity to bet on multiple games at once, skipping between the action offered onscreen, and making many more bets than would be possible had the player been tied to a real-world casino table. Naturally, this is a boon for those wanting to rifle off as many wagers as possible in the time they spend in the casino.
Additionally, it may prove to be much easier to find a seat in popular land-based casinos during busier hours. More units generally suggests that casino attendees are more likely to be spread out across the offerings. Similarly, if you’re waiting for a seat at the poker or real-life blackjack table to free up, passing some time on a virtual-dealer-dealt game might be preferable to you than sitting at the bar waiting for your call.
However, the thing that Spintec seems to be banking on being the most appealing for punters is the virtual dealers themselves. The firm makes a rather big deal about their use of “attractive virtual dealers” for their games. This, according to the company, will have players “hooked with adrenaline rush to play” – resulting in more enjoyment for the players and higher turnover for the operators. Certainly, if the dealers chosen were typically beautiful this would provide a lure for some casino visitors. There are certainly plenty of drunks loitering around many casinos each weekend that would happily pour cash into a machine to stare at a pretty face, whether they’re on a screen or not.
Virtual Dealers: The Downside
Of course, the experience of playing casino games with a virtual dealer is never going to be quite the same as being dealt in with real cards and placing bets with those satisfyingly-weighty chips – no matter how gorgeous the dealer chosen is. Although many players attending a casino are happy to sit at a terminal playing games like those found at many online casinos already, to some, such options will never be synonymous with a night at the casino.
Many players in the casino like to make an evening of it. They get dressed up, have dinner in the restaurant, then head to the floor for hands of blackjack and single malt or cocktails. Sitting at a video terminal playing roulette hardly creates an equivalent experience.
Lost with modern options such as Spintec’s Aura range is the social element of casino gambling. Players bond over bad beats, slap each other’s backs when the dealer goes bust, and some just find gambling in the truest sense of the word “live” to be much more rewarding than doing so huddled over a screen. Whilst it makes sense online, virtual casinos can never truly recreate this experience.
Ultimately, your thoughts on the use of virtual dealers in brick-and-mortar casinos is going to depend on what you wanted to get out of your casino visit. Did you and the wife want to make like Bond for the evening, sipping dry martinis at the blackjack table until the small hours? If so, virtual dealers probably aren’t for you.
However, if a trip to the casino is all about action and lots of it, there is a good chance you’ll get a kick out of new products such as the one recently premiered by Spintec.
These two types of players already happily coexist on the casino floors – with action junkies favouring slots and fixed odds betting terminals -- whilst sophisticados take to the table games. Given the fun that can be had getting glammed up for a night of gambling can be, hopefully, the introduction of greater numbers of machines offering potentially higher profitability for casino operators won’t force them to favour such virtual offerings at the expense of the enduringly popular casino table game.
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