Live Casino – Evolution vs. Playtech?
The Live Casino market is becoming competitive. A couple of years ago Evolution and Playtech were the only major Suppliers. At the time of writing Playtech and Pragmatic Play are beginning to gain market share on Evolution gaming. New entrants such as OnAir Entertainment and Authentic Gaming are also adding to the consumer offering making.
In 2017 the Live Casino consumer offering was dominated by Evolution Gaming. The offering was limited to generic Live Blackjack and Roulette tables. The only major competitor was Playtech, however their content was ‘ring fenced’ through their own exclusive casino pages on popular sports betting sites such as William Hill and Bet365.
Five years later the market has transformed. Evolution Gaming still lead the market, but they face intense competition from several suppliers in Europe and Asia. The product offering has changed as well, with all major Live Casino companies offering a full range of gaming within their lobbies.
Live Casino Acquisition – Authentic Gaming & Ezugi
Producing Live Casino content is complicated and expensive. Light & Wonder have a huge library of slot games and one of the biggest worldwide aggregator networks. If you are an established gaming brand such as Light & Wonder, it made sense to acquire a live casino company such as Authentic Gaming. Initially providing Live Roulette games, Authentic Gaming now have a variety of Live table games. Light & Wonder will undoubtedly be creating new studios based in the U.S. using the expertise of Authentic Gaming. In 2018 Evolution Gaming acquired Ezugi, a live casino supplier focussed on Asia – a key market. However, Ezugi also had a presence in the US.
Brand Development – OnAir Entertainment
Games Global, formally known as Microgaming, launched the OnAir Entertainment brand in early 2022. Microgaming have been one of the largest suppliers of slot games since the emergence of online casinos. With titles such as ‘Avalon’ and ‘Immortal Romance’ they are one of the biggest suppliers worldwide. Over the last few years they have added several studios to their roster, massively increasing their share within the RNG market. It was a natural step for them to enter the market with OnAir Entertainment. At the time of writing this article their content is already well established on sites such as Betway.com in both regulated markets and ‘.com’ markets.
Slot Suppliers Emerge – Pragmatic Play, Stakelogic and Skywind
Other Slots suppliers such as Skywind and Stakelogic are also developing Live Casino games. This will allow them to use their existing distribution channels to rapidly increase content share. The prime example of a casino slots supplier which has grown into the Live Casino space is Pragmatic Play. Our analysis of Live Lobbies suggest that they are gaining market share from Evolution Gaming. Pragmatic lay have full range of Live Games, including their biggest Game Show ‘Mega Wheel Live’.
What About The USA? Playtech, Light & Wonder to Compete With Evolution?
To operate within the States you have to have a studio within the US. Since regulation of states such as New Jersey and Pennsyvania Evolution have had a monopoly on Live Casino. Light & Wonder are one of the most prominent slot suppliers, there is no doubt that their recent acquisition of Authentic Gaming will result in a Live Casino presence within regulated US states soon. Playtech have also entered the US market with their slots content, initially through Bet365, it will definitely be in their plans to produce a Live Casino offering in the US.
Changing Live Casino Content – Leo Vegas, Betway and Poker Stars
The content on casino sites is rapidly changing, reflecting the more competitive market. In 2020 websites like Leo Vegas would be overwhelmingly offering Evolution content, now Pragmatic Play and Authentic Gaming are a growing presence. Site such as Pokerstars, a Flutter owned site, have as much content presence of Playtech Live Games vs. Evolution Gaming.
Summing up, there Live Casino market is changing rapidly. Evolution Gaming still dominate, but other companies are rapidly gaining share.