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Live is online, online is live


ermaids: it’s just really never going to work is it? Obviously they look very nice bobbing about in the water

waving and cooing, and yes they always have great hair and fantastic upper- body definition (swimming daily is a tremendously effective exercise regime) but there’s all that ‘luring sailors to their death’ to deal with, not to mention mackerel breath. Should you successfully convince one to accompany you to Butlin’s for a super-saver weekender, the impracticalities of being with someone who’s 100% fish from the navel down become all too clear. Never mind any romantic notions; simply making it down in time for the bingo becomes a saga unless you happen to have a hospital gurney or shopping trolley to hand, and one awkward mention of ‘seafood salad’ on the menu and she’ll be flapping home on the first viaduct.

Now I appreciate this isn’t a standard opening for an article about live casino providers, but upon visiting the home page of, the first thing you can’t help but notice is the siren smile of a fish/woman and the promise of live slots in which “…players’ fortunes take on a whole new spin with the appearance of the Live Mermaid”. Intrigued? Yes, I thought you might be. Sadly you’ll have to wait another 1,006 words before I mention her again (textbook journalistic teasing).

Evolution Gaming was founded in 2006 with the sole intention of bringing live mermaids to a wider audience (not true). What is true, however, is that in 2007 the company signed its first agreement with Coral, and a mere four years later serves 17 of the 20 top

34 APRIL 2011

tier online operators, delivering live dealer roulette, baccarat and blackjack to gaming giants such as William Hill, 888, Ladbrokes and Party Gaming.

Broadcasting from Riga, Latvia, the company

operates from studios spread across four floors, with around 270 dealers streaming live feeds across the globe. Head of Marketing, Helen Hedgeland, explains the studio set-up: “Our top floor is dedicated to VIPs and high rollers, so the surroundings are more luxurious with the girls dressed in elegant gold dresses. When you come in as a dealer you start on one of the normal floors and work your way up, so only the very best girls service the VIP groups.”

Evolution dedicates half its space

to generic tables serving a number of clients, with additional areas housing blue screen chroma key facilities and dedicated client tables. “If you’re logging into roulette from two different operators you could end up on the same table with the same dealer,” explains Helen. “However, an operator like Ladbrokes or William Hill will have dedicated tables specifically for their customers only. If Ladbrokes wants its dealers to be

All the fun of a live casino in the comfort of your own home? Matt Broughton looks at just how close Evolution Gaming are getting to the dream product

wearing branded attire, or if it’s a Champion’s League night and they want to have the girls wearing Chelsea kits, we can accommodate that.”

CROSS-DRESSING Many of Evolution’s clients take full

advantage of the dedicated tables to host cross- sell and cross-promotional activities. During the Carling Cup, Ladbrokes held lucky draws at the table for their players. Similarly, on St Patrick’s Day Paddy Power included a number of ¤10 bonus cards in every blackjack shoe. “There are add-on promotional activities that just make it much more exciting,” says Helen. “For the Grand National last year William Hill had all their girls wearing jockey silks and announcing the races. This means there’s additional revenue to be gained simply because the clients’ dedicated dealers can be pushing

other products. If you have a poker tournament starting in 20 minutes you can let your players know this.”

This engaging experience has helped many of

Evolution’s clients improve player retention. Helen elaborates: “Customers have proven to be

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