Playtech is an old-timer in the interactive gambling industry, having been around since 1996. It started out by developing and managing products like innovative video slots and table games, bingo, and video poker.
The company’s success has been fueled by its innovative spirit. Playtech introduced live games and enhanced the online gambling experience by replicating the ambiance of brick-and-mortar casinos.
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Playtech, based in the Isle of Man, was the first company to launch a live dealer platform in 2003. Since then, the company has continued to expand its selection of live tables and now offers one of the most diverse catalogs around.
Playtech-powered casinos offer live blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat and dice games. The company’s licensees include Betfair, Ladbrokes and William Hill. Here’s a look at Playtech’s history and achievements.
Playtech’s Background and Achievements
1The Early Years
Playtech is a company with a long history. The company was founded in 1999 by Israeli businessman Teddy Sagi and began by offering its innovative software to casinos and other gambling establishments. It wasn’t until 2001 that Playtech welcomed its first online casino licensee on board.
2London Stock Exchange Listing
In 2004, Playtech launched its dedicated poker software called iPoker. By 2006 it had established itself as one of the biggest poker networks in the industry. Later that year, Playtech was publicly listed on the London Stock Exchange and valued at $950 million.
3Global Expansion and US Market Exit
Playtech continued to introduce new services and expand into new markets during the years that followed. In 2003, the company launched its live dealer platform, which allowed players from around the world to interact with real dealers.
Following the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006, Playtech withdrew its operations from the US gambling market.
The company faced a major setback in 2008, when its stocks fell 40% due to the economic crisis. To overcome this problem, Playtech expanded into new markets and verticals, diversifying its bingo offering with the introduction of Bingo Broadway that same year.
Important Acquisitions and Market Entry in Spain
In 2009, the developer Playtech secured a deal with Spain’s DGOJ regulator to broadcast live-dealer streams from Casino Gran Madrid, which was then the country’s largest land-based casino.
In 2010, Playtech acquired Virtue Fusion Limited, a provider of bingo games. The next year saw Playtech complete several major acquisitions, including those of Ash Gaming and Mobenga.
5New Agreements with Paddy Power and Gala Coral
In 2012, the UK-based sports betting platform Geneity Limited officially became a member of the Playtech family of brands. The acquisition spree was followed by long-term deals with notable operators Paddy Power and Gala Coral.
But Playtech didn’t stop there. It continued to expand by acquiring Aristocrat Lotteries, which gave it a strong presence in Italy and Norway.
The company has also made several moves in the online gaming space, including introducing Playtech ONE in 2014. This was followed by Playtech opening the world’s largest live dealer facility in Riga, Estonia (2017). In 2018, the company purchased Quickspin, a Swedish video slot supplier.
6Playtech’s List of Accolades
Playtech has been in the online gaming industry since 1999 and is one of the most respected names in the industry. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including several prestigious ones for its live casino games and slots. Let’s take a look at some of these awards.
- Playtech was awarded a Live Casino Supplier of the Year at the 2019 EGR B2B Awards.
- We are proud to announce that we have been awarded the trophy for Supplier Innovation at the 2019 Gaming Intelligence Awards.
- Grant Thornton Quoted Company Awards win in Aim to Main category
- Mobile Gaming Software won a 2016 EGR B2B Award for their outstanding achievement in the mobile gaming industry.
- The EGR B2B Awards recognizes Multi-Channel Supplier as a leader in its field.
- The digital industry supplier was awarded the trophy for Best Digital Industry Supplier at the 2016 Global Gaming Awards.
- In 2015, we were honored to receive the award for iGaming Software Supplier of the Year.
- Playtech was a runner-up at the Global Gaming Awards in the Digital Industry Supplier category. GTech eventually took home the trophy.
- The Romania Casino Life and Business Awards have named Bwin.party Digital Entertainment as the winner of two categories: Best Live Studio, and Best Technology.
- Innovation was the name of the game at the EGR Awards, sponsored by Playtech.
Playtech Live Dealer Studios
Playtech has offices in various countries and operates its live dealer games from studios in Estonia, Belgium, the Philippines, Spain, and Romania.
The Flagship Studio is located in Riga, Estonia.
Playtech raised the bar in 2017 with the introduction of its live dealer studio in Riga, Estonia. The studio’s expert dealers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The 8,500-square-meter facility occupies a prime piece of real estate in the city center.
Besides the gaming space, Playtech’s headquarters houses a training center for new dealers, a feedback room for staff members, and an innovation room. The training center is particularly interesting because it spans numerous classrooms and gives recruits access to the best teaching equipment.
The Riga facility is the home of Playtech’s biggest video wall. The 25-meter-wide curved LED screen covers the entire back wall of the dedicated gaming floor, allowing licensees to tailor the setting visuals to their preferences and product range.
Over 500 professional dealers are employed in Playtech’s flagship studio. The dealers speak many languages and are supervised by shift managers, who ensure that the dealers are well-versed in all aspects of their jobs.
At the start of each shift, dealers are briefed on the casino’s rules and regulations. They then go through a quick grooming check before taking their seats at the tables. Each dealer works for up to an hour and a half, with 30 minutes between tables. They take another break after two hours and another briefing before starting the next shift.
Security is a major concern at the facility. Guards and administrators thoroughly check everyone who enters. Also, electronic devices are not allowed in the operational area of the building; there are over 350 closed-circuit television cameras installed all over the building to ensure high levels of security.
Asian Live Dealer Facility in Manila, the Philippines
Playtech, a provider of software solutions to the online gambling industry, has a studio in Makati City, the capital of the Philippines. This studio has been approved by PAGCOR, which regulates online gaming within that country.
The live tables are attended by Asian dealers who speak the local language. Several years ago, the studio underwent renovations to give it a fresher, more sophisticated look and feel.
Live games are streamed from the Asian facility, including Sic Bo, European, French and American Roulette, and Soiree Baccarat. Emperor and Sapphire are two elegant environments for gaming activities.
Playtech’s Live Dealer Facility in Belgium
Playtech has entered into a deal with popular operator GVC Holdings, which allows it to offer classic casino games under the authorization of local regulators in Belgium and Greece.
Playtech has once again set the bar high for live casino enthusiasts by equipping its new studio with the latest technologies and highest-quality equipment. The tables are staffed by professional dealers who speak French, and there’s only one downside–the lack of live games offered at this Playtech studio.
Playtech’s Bucharest Studio
In January 2017, the international software developer unveiled a new studio in Bucharest. The company wanted to meet the growing demand for quality online gambling in this relatively young market.
In the high-end Romanian studio, native-speaking personnel again serve tables. The casino has a nice selection of games, including live roulette, live 21, and live casino hold’em. Only streaming equipment of the highest quality is used to deliver the action to players’ mobile and desktop screens.
The new streaming facility operates in full compliance with local regulations. The services are available via Playtech’s license granted by ONJN, Romania’s National Gambling Office.
Live Streams from Spain
Software developer X has entered into a lucrative partnership with Casino Gran Madrid, one of Spain’s largest land-based casinos. One interesting tidbit about this venue is that it welcomed over half a million visitors annually for the period between 1997 and 2002.
The deal gives the recognized game designer a chance to supply and stream its live dealer offering to players from the Spanish market. Moreover, you can watch Casino Gran Madrid’s live tables in real time since the action is streamed from within the venue. In other words, online players get a chance to play “side by side” with actual patrons at Casino Gran Madrid.
The studio is complete with live roulette tables, serviced by well-trained, native-speaking dealers who are on hand around the clock. Private and shared tables are on offer. This is at least partially due to new rules introduced by Spain’s regulator, which require live dealer games to be broadcast from landbased casinos based in the country. As for the games themselves–the Spanish studio has plenty of them!
Playtech Markets and Regulatory Compliance
Playtech is fully compliant with the security, integrity and responsible-gambling policies of some of the world’s most severe gambling operators.
Responsible Gambling Commitment
Playtech, a leading provider of online casino services, has purchased BetBuddy’s analytics platform. The platform uses data mining and predictive modeling to identify players at risk of gambling addiction, so that Playtech-powered live casinos can better cater to such customers.
Anti-Money Laundering Efforts
Playtech strives to abide by the relevant responsible-gambling policies in all markets where it does business, and it conducts its business with integrity.
Playtech has partnered with the Gambling Anti-Money Laundering Group (GAMLG) to help combat money laundering. The entity was founded in December 2016.
Playtech has secured licenses to operate in some of the industry’s biggest markets, including the UK, Asia, and the EU.
Playtech’s Regulatory Authorization
Playtech has offices in 19 countries and over 140 licensees worldwide. The company has been granted permits for the following regulated markets:
- The MGA issued a gaming license to Critical Gaming Supply at the beginning of December 2018.
- After Romania legalized online gambling in January 2017, the country’s National Gambling Office (ONJN) granted a license to an operator in May of that year. The company received four different types of permits, including for hosting services and casino software.
- Playtech has successfully penetrated the UK market, where it provides live casino solutions to licensees and players under permits granted by the Gambling Commission.
- In the summer of 2017, Playtech moved some of its key staff to Gibraltar and opened a new office there. The company holds a remote gaming B2B license by the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.
- Playtech recently received accreditation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to offer its services in that country.
- The software studio recognized by the Italian government brought its products to the regulated market overseen by AAMS, Italy’s gambling regulator.
Features of Interest in Playtech’s Live Casino Platform
Playtech has created a feature-rich platform that continues to improve. The live dealer suite features new games and features added frequently. We found these to be the most useful:
- Dealer tips are available across all Playtech live tables. To tip the dealer, first select the amount of your tip using the +/- buttons.
- The chat function is your means of communication with other players and the dealers. You can click the + button to expand the chat window and read other people’s comments.
- Game settings are available via the main menu in the upper left corner of the main interface. To see a list of winners after each round or hand, simply turn this feature on. Other functionalities are also available via game settings but they differ between games. For example, you can turn off and on blind raises in live casino poker via game settings.
- You can change the video and audio settings of the game. To do so, open the game settings or the main settings. Use the slider to configure the quality of the video stream from low to high, or mute any distracting sounds.
- The autoplay feature allows you to play 10 through 99 spins without having to post chips on the layout after each round. You can set up loss and single-win limits before you start playing.
- Live games are supported by Playtech with statistics, including hot and cold numbers for Roulette players. Baccarat fans can benefit from scorecards like the Big Road, Small Road, Bead and Big Eye.
- The game results feature gives you a snapshot of your betting history for the day, including your starting and ending balance, how much you wagered, and how much you won.
- The My Bets function makes it easy to save your favorite bets and place them with just a few clicks of the mouse button.
- The Bet Creator is a unique function that Playtech has introduced in its live roulette games. This feature allows players to create custom bets and place them without any time restrictions.
- The Lucky Dip feature at Playtech-powered casinos is another unique way to play live roulette. The feature allows you to bet straight up on several random numbers, but it must be enabled by the casino operator first.
Live Roulette Games
Playtech’s live platform offers the choice of playing a single-zero and double-zero roulette table. French, American, and European versions of the classic game are all available on this platform.
The French table offers the La Partage rule, which means you lose only half of your outside bets to zero. The games include a standard payout table with a maximum of 35-1 for winning straight-up bets. Players can also diversify their experience with complex call bets like Neighbors, Zero Game, Tiers, Orphelins, and Voisins.
SuperCasinoSites’ List of Recommended Playtech Live Roulette Tables
- Spread Bet Roulette
- Quantum Roulette
- Live Football Roulette
- Age of the Gods Roulette
- Slingshot Roulette
- Speed Roulette
- Diamond French Roulette
New in the Betting Window and Spin Now Feature
To keep the game moving along, the live roulette tables are designed to accommodate as many players as possible. Players can speed up the pace of play by using the Spin Now feature, which allows you to request the dealer end a betting round earlier if you have finished posting your wagers.
Large payouts and progressive jackpots
If you’re looking for a more exciting game, try Spread Bet Roulette or Age of the Gods Live Roulette. Both feature special bonuses that can make your bets pay off big time.
Live Dealer Roulette by Playtech Gameplay
Live Blackjack Games
Blackjack games supplied by Playtech are played under the same rules, with most of the tables supporting up to seven players. Some tables even have no limits on the number of players who can join in. Quantum Blackjack and Live All Bets Blackjack are two examples of these types of table.
Playtech’s live blackjack dealers always stand on a 17. The standard payout for blackjacks is 3 to 2, but insurance pays at odds of 2 to 1. Doubling down is allowed on all starting totals including after a split.
SuperCasinoSites has compiled a list of recommended Playtech live blackjack tables.
- All Bets Blackjack
- Quantum Blackjack
- Royal Blackjack
- Grand Blackjack
Shuffling Procedure and Card Burning
The live blackjack variations use eight full packs. The decks are pre-shuffled either manually by a human dealer or by automatic shuffling machines. The cards are dealt from a shoe. Once a new shoe is introduced at a table, the live dealer burns a card (removes it from play), then removes cards from the top of the deck depending on the value of the first card drawn.
Card Dealing Style
At some live poker tables, players are dealt one card each initially. Other tables follow the American standard, where hole cards are in play. Some games allow you to place bets in multiple betting boxes during the same round. Side bets like Top 3, Perfect Pairs, 21+3, Buster, and Lucky Lucky can earn larger payouts with winning combinations. The RTP is usually 99.46% in the main game.
Live Dealer Blackjack by Playtech Gameplay
Live Baccarat Games
Playtech has a variety of live baccarat tables, all of which are dealt out from a shoe containing eight full decks of cards. A specially designated staff member shuffles the decks manually. The standard baccarat rules are in place, making it easier for novice players to change tables if they wish.
To start a betting round, you can bet on Player (the player’s hand), Banker (the banker’s hand), or Tie (if the total score is 8 or 9). The game ends when someone wins two consecutive rounds.
SuperCasinoSites’ List of the Best Playtech Live Baccarat Games
- Grand Baccarat
- Dragon Jackpot Baccarat
- Prestige Baccarat
- Auto Live Baccarat
- Dragon Tiger
Side Bets and Progressive Jackpots
In addition to the traditional three wagers, side bettors can place additional bets on Player Pair, Banker Pair, Either Pair, Perfect Pair and Big and Small Hand.
The dealers at some baccarat tables would squeeze the cards to gradually reveal their value, increasing suspense. If you enjoy riding on trends, try Dragon Jackpot Baccarat for the chance to win a larger multi-tiered progressive prize. As much as 1% of each tie bet goes toward building the pot.
Live Dealer Baccarat by Playtech Gameplay
Live House-Banked Poker and Sic Bo Tables
SuperCasinoSites is here to brief you on the games of live casino poker. Apart from blackjack, roulette and baccarat, Playtech has also launched several exciting variations of house-banked poker where you play against the live casino’s representative, the dealer.
- Three Card Brag is a poker variant in which you and the dealer are each dealt three cards, with the goal being to have the highest-ranking hand. The highest-ranking hand is Three of a Kind (which pays 40 to 1).
- Casino Hold’em is a variation of Texas Hold’em that you can play against the house. The dealer must show a pair of 4s or better to qualify. Five community cards are dealt on the board, and your goal is to beat the dealer with a better five-card hand by using your two cards and the cards on the board. The deck is replaced with a new, pre-shuffled one after each round.
- Heads Up Hold’em is a variant of Casino Hold’em that uses the same structure, but with two differences. The dealer needs any pair or higher to qualify. There is also a Bad Beat Bonus, which gives you a chance to earn a payout even if your hand loses to the dealer’s.
- In Casino Stud Poker, you can win a large progressive prize by posting an optional jackpot side wager of $1. The prize is awarded in full if you get a Royal Flush after posting the fixed jackpot bet. If you have at least Three of a Kind when the dealer exposes her first card, you win 5+1 Bonus.
- Sic Bo Deluxe is an exciting game with a Chinese New Year theme. You bet on the roll of three dice and can win up to 1,000 times your wager. The live action takes place in an elegant red and gold setting inspired by the Chinese New Year. There are tons of betting opportunities here including Big/Small bets, Number, Pair, Double, Triple and Any Triple bets.