Online casinos have been around for almost three decades – and their time on the market was always characterized by constant growth. One of the secrets for the soaring iGaming business is innovation: developers are constantly looking for ways to offer better services to their constantly growing audience. Live casino games were invented in this spirit, first as a novelty, then as one of the fastest-growing segments in the industry, riding the wave of the ever-improving internet infrastructure.
A brief history
Evolution Gaming is often credited as the company that made live casino games a successful endeavor. The idea of live dealer games predates the Swedish casino infrastructure provider – it first emerged in the mid-1990s, soon after the first online casinos were born. A decade later, in turn, the internet was fast enough to handle video streaming, so the first live casino games were born.
Initially, live casino games were seen as a novelty, something out of reach for most casino players. But it soon formed a dedicated audience, prompting developers to create their own version of the service. In time, live casino studios were established around the world, from AG Live Casino in Asia to SSG Studio in Africa. And, of course, all over Europe and North America, where online casinos are just starting to carve out their place in the market.
It’s hard to assess the true size of the live casino gaming segment because it is so intertwined with the rest of the iGaming industry. What we can say for sure is that it is constantly growing. From just a handful of live casino service providers in the late 2000s, today, we have dozens, with localized studios in all corners of the globe.
The biggest provider of live casino games is, to this day, Evolution Gaming. The company has not only established itself as the leading provider of live casino games on two continents – it has studios in several European countries as well as in several US states that have decided to regulate online gambling. In the meantime, the company has expanded beyond live dealer games, acquiring several traditional RNG casino software developers like Red Tiger, NetEnt, and most recently, Australian developer Big Time Gaming, the company that gave the world Megaways.
Aside from Evolution, there are more than two dozen separate live dealer casino game providers on the market, ranging from Asia Gaming from the Philippines to Xpro Gaming in Slovakia, with studios everywhere from Cambodia to Costa Rica.
The online gambling industry is huge – it was worth more than $57 billion in 2019, and it had one of its best years so far in 2020. With brick-and-mortar casinos closed, live dealer casino games certainly contributed to this growth significantly.
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