The UK casino industry is suffering from a fresh wave of lockdowns across the nation, leaving land-based casinos in limbo. As a result, Evolution Gaming’s Dual Play tables based out of several casinos in the country are now ‘out of service’.
‘Dual Play’ roulette and baccarat tables offer online players the chance to play and place real money bets on casino tables physically on the gaming floors of land-based casinos.
Currently, Evolution is one of the few live casino platform providers offering this service whereby online players play alongside those physically sitting at the table inside the casino.
However, the firm’s numerous ‘dual play’ tables spread across 4 casinos in the country, predominantly in London, are now closed. Casinos currently with dual play include The Ritz Club (London), The Hippodrome (London), Grosvenor’s Victoria Casino (London), and Genting’s Resorts World (Birmingham, UK).
New UK Tiered Lockdown Restrictions Close Land-Based Casinos
Under new restrictions in the UK, land-based casinos are once again feeling the pinch of the pandemic as they close for business. However, betting shops in the UK are still open under Tier 3 restrictions. Casinos, unfortunately, remain closed under this tier level, leaving them in limbo once again. An announcement tomorrow will confirm which areas current UK restrictions will ease off, but this still leaves many land-based operations in limbo and Evolution ‘Dual Play’ live casino tables in the UK closed.
Until now, land-based operations are still unsure if their casino will open as there are few clues which areas the government will exclude from the current tiered lockdown systems. This leaves large casino brands such as the Grosvenor with uncertainty as the brand operates casinos nationwide and some of its casinos will probably remain closed—especially its Liverpool branch as the city is one of the worst-hit by the new wave of COVID-19 hitting the country.
Plans for ‘Dual Play’ to come back online
London is expected to come out of lockdown on 2 or 3 December, which will allow the Ritz Club, Hippodrome, and Grosvenor’s Victoria Casino ‘Dual Play’ operations to restart. However, Birmingham remains uncertain whether its casinos will reopen, meaning only the Evolution ‘Dual Play’ tables available via Genting’s Resorts World in Birmingham will remain ‘out of service’.
Should an area fall under the government’s ‘Tier 3’ system, then any casinos in that area will remain closed according to Mr. Dugher, the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive who is fighting for an unequivocal reopening phase for ‘all’ land-based casinos in the UK.
‘Dual Play’ and live dealer tables still open for business in Europe
Live casino dealer suites and dual play games that operate outside of the UK are still available as live casino solutions. The live dealer studios purely used for webcam streaming are under the control of live casino software providers who have COVID-19 preventative measures in place including regular employee testing and social distancing in the live suites. These procedures are paramount to the continuation of services and of course the continuation of revenue streams.
Growth continues within the live casino vertical despite pandemic
The live casino online industry shows no signs of slowing down. Evolution added its live Craps table to its collection while Pragmatic Play released its first game show game Mega Wheel, now available. NetEnt also came out with its first live casino baccarat table earlier this month, while BetConstruct also released a new table game early in the month with the very first live Pow Gow poker table!
More live table games will come over the course of 2021, which just goes to show how resilient the live casino business is even in the face of global lockdowns!
Evolution continues to grow with temporary Dual Play closures having little effect on revenue
If we go by figures released by Evolution which only operated live casino gaming operations, business is thriving. Recent profit reports show that the firm is on target for a €300+ million profit in 2020 after reporting interim profits over Q1, Q2, and Q3 of 2020 of €204 million.
‘Dual Play’ live casino table game operations are only a very small part of the overall Evolution operations which spread throughout Europe and across the pond into the USA where the firm recently opened a second live studio in Pennsylvania.
With over 50 alternative live casino games to play other than ‘Dual Play’ the closure of Evolution’s UK-based operations has had little effect on the firm, which just confirmed it will add the NetEnt live dealer studio to its operations after yesterday’s confirmed takeover of NetEnt!