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Bridging the gap between online and offline play, live studio-based table gaming is an ideal extension of a land-based gaming experience into the online space

Evolution Gaming was founded back in 2006 at a time in which a live gaming Internet offering in Europe was less pipe- dream, more broadband myth. The accepted view was that live gaming over the Internet, a real-time video stream of an actual live game, dealer and result, could not be offered at a sufficient service level to satisfy a European audience. Live services were being offered to European operators from overseas markets at that time, but take-up was low due to substantial presentation and quality issues. Evolution’s view was that the right level of technical quality teamed with European standards of presentation could work, and they set about proving that theory.

Evolution had a clear vision to take the online gaming experience to the edge of what was achievable, and then gave it a shove in the right direction. Incorporating higher production values within a regulated environment, Evolution sought to offer an online game akin to the live gaming experience to an increasingly demanding European audience. Speaking to Evolution Gaming's Jens von Bahr, he explained that as consumers began to encounter faster connections through their ever more powerful PCs, they also began to expect better quality, greater interactivity and a much more satisfying online experience all round.

THEONLINEGAMINGPITCH Evolution targeted existing online gaming operators who were relying solely on random number generated (RNG) games to create revenue through their site. While the prospect of live gaming was appealing to them, the perceived view, thanks to poorly executed examples from the Far East, was that the offer was too problematic to consider. "Evolution sought to remove all the hurdles that online operators faced at that time when considering adding a live casino offering

to their site," explained Mr. von Bahr. "We set-up our first televised studio in the Latvian capital, Riga, and invested heavily in our technical infrastructure. We quickly secured our first branded licensee - UK operator Gala Coral, and built upon that success with the launch of numerous gaming brands."

Continuous investment in infrastructure has been a key feature of Evolution's growth, which has been rewarded over the last 12 months as the thrill of the live gaming experience online has shifted from novel addition to an online gaming site, to a must-have key component. "A few years back every online operator sought to launch a bingo offering on their site," stated Mr. von Bahr. "Bingo went from the periphery to the mainstream very quickly. It's now the turn of the live gaming experience, which is not just a ' nice to have' live casino add-on, but a real profit centre for operators. The time to buy market share is today, as tomorrow it is going to be extremely expensive.”

ONLINECONNECTINGTOLIVE There was a perception in the past that live gaming online would merely cannibalise player generated revenue from the online gaming operator’s RNG bottom line; but the operation of a live online gaming offer has proven to generate only incremental revenues. One factor is that live online casino play appeals to a new category of online players; i.e. players that previously would not have thought to play online, considering themselves to be purely land-based players. For the online RNG operator, live gaming opens up a completely new revenue stream.

"Every online gaming site is now looking to address their live offering," stated Mr. von Bahr. "It's been quite a dramatic shift in attitudes towards live gaming. It's become important for sites to differentiate


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