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Riga, Latvia Becoming Epicenter of the Online Blackjack Industry

Oct 14, 2010

Riga, Latvia
Riga, Latvia

Riga is quickly becoming a major of online blackjack activity, especially when it comes to live dealer blackjack games.

Latvia is a small Baltic nation found in the northern reaches of the European continent. Its capital city of Riga is home to 700,000 people, the 13th highest TV tower in the world, and offices of two major players in the online blackjack industry: Playtech and Evolution Gaming.

Evolution Gaming entered Riga a few years ago, entering a then-niche market called live dealer gaming. At the time, live dealer games were restricted to the Asian online gambling world, and all live dealer casino studios were located there. Evolution was the first to bring live dealer gaming to a Western audience.

Live dealer roulette, blackjack, and blackjack card games use live video feeds to monitor actual blackjack tables being run by human dealers. There are no players sitting at the tables, however. Instead, players connect through the internet, participating in the games remotely. These games offer a blend between traditional casino gaming and online casino games.

Evolution’s venture paid off after making contracts to provide live dealer games to a few big players in the online gambling world like Paddy Power, PartyGaming and Blue Square Casino. Last year the group had to double their floor space in order to set up more tables so they could cope with the increasing demand.

Playtech also runs a live dealer studio in Riga. The gambling software company already operated live dealer games in Asia with great success, and as they watched Evolution bring the technology to Western players, they too wanted part of the action.

Playtech and Evolution remain the two most significant providers of live dealer casino games in the industry. Their Riga offices employ local dealers, and the video feeds are streamed to players all around the world. The popularity of live dealer table games is on the rise, and some believe it to be the future of online gambling.

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