Recent virus outbreaks have caused a large number of people in Asia to abandon traditional live-dealer tables at casinos, where they might be exposed to other players with suspicious symptoms, in favour of playing electronic table games (ETGs). The use of ETG terminals ensures that those who prefer human interaction can continue to play live dealer casino games while maintaining social distance. Much has been written about how difficult it is for workers on these types of slot machines to monitor all patrons so closely without creating panic when someone falls ill or exhibits any signs associated with an infection such as fevers or vomiting.
Asian casino operators report that it is difficult to reintroduce live dealers to their patrons.
Electronic table gaming (ETG) is spreading like wildfire around the world, particularly in Asia. According to Jim Preston, product director of electronic games at Scientific Games Corp., there has been a “massive increase” in ETG play since Covid-19 levels first appeared in casinos around Singapore with two casino resorts, and operators have been conscientious about keeping the terminals clean.
Due to tightened Singapore rules and an increase in Covid-19, the Marina Bay Sands casino resort in Singapore, which is run by a unit of the United States-based Las Vegas Sands Corp., is currently limited to a maximum of two players. Executives from Interblock DD and Weike Gaming Technology (S) Pte Ltd both told GGRAsia that there is increased interest in ETGs on Asian casino floors.
With the recent popularity of electronic table games, there has been a noticeable shift in players from traditional tables to ETGs where they have their own space. This shift is the result of several factors, including government-enforced social distancing for all indoor settings, increased hygiene awareness, and the fear of viral spread from touching physical chips or handling cash.
Many employees are concerned about their futures as a result of casino firms’ acquisitions of lesser-known players. As a result, personal interactions have been reduced, and some people are turning to ETGs for more social interaction with others in casinos, as well as frequently cheaper gambling options.
Singapore, Macau, Vietnam, and Exchange Traded Funds
Weike’s Mr Lim stated that the company had noticed a shift in players away from live tables and towards ETGs in “Singapore, Macau, and Vietnam.” We believe that more markets are experiencing this trend as well, as people become accustomed to playing on these machines, which provide numerous benefits despite a higher initial setup cost.”
Mr Hu of Interblock explained that his company’s products allowed him to adjust the distance between ETG player stations in a so-called “stadium” setup. This allowed for operator-required spacing of 1 metre or even more than 4 metres, and Interblock also provided protection shields needed as an additional physical separation barrier on casino floors throughout 2020, where the pandemic had disrupted client flow during the first year.
Gaming operators and suppliers have been looking for ways to adapt existing technologies to the new Covid-19 pandemic situation. “Operators are…looking for creative ways to adapt existing technologies for new uses, such as integrating ETG stadiums with live table games,” said Mr Hu of Interblock.” One method he proposed was to connect ETG terminals in a stadium setup to a live dealer table that could only hold three players otherwise.
Mr Lim of Weike noted that since the introduction of ETGs, the company has seen a significant increase in demand for these “community games.” He claims that this is because people want to play more than just blackjack and roulette because they can’t have live-dealer interaction with them via an EtG. Unlike traditional game tables, where you would come into contact with cards or chips, there is no need to touch money – everything happens on screen!
This decade has seen some significant advancements in gaming technology, ranging from VR headsets like the Oculus Rift to arcade machines being upgraded by companies like Weike Entertainment Group (ETGS).