Live Casino specialists Evolution Gaming released their third-quarter results last week and once again they produced some seriously impressive numbers.
Revenue from Evolution’s stable of live casino games including Roulette, Blackjack and Dream Catcher was up 47% year on year, capping 18 months of incredible growth for the company.
Upon unveiling their results, CEO Martin Carlesund said that Evolution was now reaching players who “are being converted from other game categories, such as slots.”
With two studios in Malta, one in Riga and one in Georgia, Evolution is massively increasing capacity, as more and more casino operators are switching to their branded and white-label tables.
So there’s little doubt that live casino games are growing in popularity. But is there any evidence for Carlesund’s claim that this growth coming at the expense of online slots?
The big casino operators rarely break down their numbers in public but if you spend any length of time in Malta – and hang out in the right bars – you do hear rumours that customers are spending more time (and money) playing live casino games.
You also hear murmurs that growth in slots is flatlining. While a new release from NetEnt or Push Gaming will always lead to a spike in interest, in general, interest in slots is stagnating.
And when you compare the revenue data of Evolution Gaming to that of the largest slot providers, then this does lend some support to the theory that slots players are making the switch to live casino.
For example, while Evolution Gaming has enjoyed huge growth in the last two years, NetEnt’s revenue growth has actually been steadily declining in each of the last 4 years, with growth of just 8.9% between 2017 and 2018.
Will slots continue leaking user attention and revenue to live casino? Well, possibly. But this could also be the opportunity for slot developers to innovate and embrace the features which users love most about live casino games.
In particular, slots providers should be doing more to improve user interaction. Slot play can get tedious when the only action required by the user is to press the spin button and letting the Random Number Generator does the rest.
The Yggdrasil studio is showing the way here, with many of their bonus features requiring the user to make some choices, which can significantly affect the outcome of the game. I would love to see others follow suit, and perhaps even add more user choice in the base game.
The slots/live casino trend is certainly one to watch in 2020. Which of the two forms of gambling do you prefer? Let me know in the forum.