Ady Totah, CEO and co-founder of LuckyStreak, gives InterGaming the lowdown on the current state of play in the live casino sector.
IG: How long has your company been in the live casino business and how did you get into it?
AT: LuckyStreak was founded in 2014 and we went live with our games in 2015. I have worked in the igaming industry for over 10 years and saw the opportunity along with Erez (Cywier, CTO and fellow co-founder) to launch our own live dealer casino business.
The market was growing fast, there was opportunity in the market for multiple providers, we had the knowledge and experience and, most importantly, the belief and determination to succeed. We’re still here, growing and going strong, so it was the right call it seems.
IG: Do you stream from your own studios or from real-life casinos?
AT: We have only ever streamed our own games, from our own live casino studio, rather than someone else’s. If you’re really serious about this, you have to commit and invest. It gives you the control you need to deliver the quality you need, and to be successful you simply have to.
Plus, that quality control is across every part of the business: the games, the set, the people and everything behind the camera (and including the cameras) like video recording and definition, streaming, servers and all the support staff that make the operation tick.
And most importantly, the culture of the company and the welfare of your people, because ultimately we are a people (human) business and that is our product.
And yes, land-based streaming is a key part of what we offer and accounts for a large part of our volume. We partner the Portomaso and Oracle casinos in Malta, streaming real live roulette online to our network of players and to their customers when they’re at home, closing that loop for them.
IG: What are the technologies that have helped to improve live casino in recent years?
AT: The key factors in growth of the sector are internet access, bandwidths and mobile phones – these are multipliers. Because of the nature of our product, higher quality connectivity is critical (that said, our clients detect device and bandwidth constraints to adjust the video stream accordingly, to deliver the best experience) and we’re in the process of deploying 1080p high-definition streaming for all our tables. As more people have high bandwidth internet, quite literally in their hands, we’re seeing our volumes grow.
The pandemic had the effect of moving landbased casino customers online and now they are returning but land-based operators can keep their customers within their brand by streaming their games online also.
With Lucky Land-based, we can support that. Lucky Land-based includes all the necessary streaming equipment, ranging from high-end cameras and microphones to advanced monitors and lightning, alongside our proprietary live casino software.
IG: In what ways do you think your product has the edge over those of your competitors?
AT: We’ve chosen to stay focused on our portfolio of games. Other than our content aggregation solution LuckyConnect, our LuckyLive portfolio is centred in the most popular games of live dealer blackjack, online European roulette and baccarat. We could have chosen to take on the larger businesses and expand our range to gameshows and Wheel of Fortune games, but we didn’t.
Firstly, our entire focus is on continually investing in improving our games and that means gameplay, user-interface and player features. The recent upgrade of our blackjack UI and launch of portrait mobile mode, which we’re rolling onto baccarat in July and roulette later in Q3, as well as upgrading to 1080p high-definition streaming across all our tables, are testament to that.
And with Lucky Land-based, retail casinos can bridge the online online gap by partnering with us and our video, streaming and UI capabilities to turn the “weekend warriors” into brand loyal customers all year round and create additional revenue streams. We’ve had no complaints from our customers; in fact we’re about to stream even more tables from our land-based partners.
IG: How do you see the sector developing over the next few years?
AT: We’ll certainly see innovation in game types and presentation, as providers seek to differentiate themselves away from the traditional card and roulette games and also to appeal to a broader range of players, perhaps outside the traditional live casino audience. That said, the sector already accounts for a third of online casino wagering and it’s forecast to keep growing, so there’s plenty of demand for this type of game.
Operators will have more options to customise their players’ gameplay experience, from branding
to sets and backgrounds through the use of greenscreens and CGI. And we’ll see more variants of existing games that offer players something different but also increase the revenue capacity of operators, like multiplayer blackjack.
And for retail casinos, our kit is continually advancing in quality, portability and reliability, making it easier to install and operate and to monetize their businesses further.
You would expect casino software providers – not just in live casino – to be looking at the opportunity that AR presents. Just like other advancements and developments in our sector’s offerings, there will be customers who like the immersive experience and the launch of Apple’s own headset will make this even more possible.
But in my opinion it will never replace the “real world” experience of taking time out and playing a games of roulette on your laptop or mobile, while you’re relaxing in front of the TV.
You can read the interview in iNTERGAMING’s online magazine here.