The issue of cheating in gaming is probably as old as gambling itself. It makes for a good story, too. There are players or dealers who don’t play by the rules in every movie where poker or another game of chance is involved. Thus, it’s no wonder that the question persists even in the age of online casinos.
A few years ago, people were wondering if the all-virtual Blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and Poker titles offered by online operators are rigged. The reputable casinos proved their legitimacy by obtaining licenses, subjecting the software they use to independent audits, and posting monthly RTP reports.
However, live dealer games are different. These streams don’t use Random Number Generators. Instead, you get to see real-life broadcasts where croupiers deal physical cards, spin the ball on the Roulette wheels, and so on. When you can see the action unfolding in real-time, there’s no room for funny business, right? Well, not exactly…
Cheating in Live Dealer Games Is Not Unprecedented
Yep, you read that right. The biggest and most recent case of a live dealer caught red-handed was in 2017. It happened in the lobby of a studio called Global Gaming Labs, which was employed by the BetOnline casino. A nefarious employee performed a technique called second dealing — instead of drawing the top card from the shoe, they pushed it back and dealt the next one in line.
Fortunately, a player was recording the stream at the time and then posted a video that went viral on YouTube. As a result, BetOnline stopped working with GGL, and the latter went out of business. On the bright side, this event spurred the reputable studios to take extra steps and increase transparency.
That Being Said, Mistakes Can Happen
It’s important to remember that live dealer tables are a mix of humans and technology — two aspects that are hardly infallible. Although professionally trained, croupiers can misdeal once in a blue moon. The reputable studios have player-friendly procedures in such instances, meaning that any mistakes will be acknowledged, and refunds will be issued.
In other cases, there might be a delay with your Internet connection or on the side of the servers, which could result in you being unable to place a bet. That’s why it’s vital that you pick a top online casino that loads fast in your region.
Here’s Why Live Casinos Don’t Want to Deceive You
- Studios and operators have a guaranteed profit, as there’s a house edge in every game of chance.
- Just like gaming sites and software developers, licensed live studios are subjected to audits from independent testing agencies. Failing a check could result in a loss of said license.
- Thousands of people play and watch the dealers every day. Some of them are reviewers and YouTubers, meaning that any suspicious action is extremely likely to be noticed and even recorded. As history shows, that would be a reputational disaster.
Fair Play Is Guaranteed When You Pick the Right Casino
If you want to make sure that the house plays fair and square, you have to do a little bit of research. Google the name of the operator + review (e.g., 888casino review) and check its rating on at least 3-4 sites. You can also scan the footer of the casino’s main page for clickable seals that will lead you to active licensing information from a given regulator.
Traditionally, European jurisdictions are the most reliable, so seeing UKGC (UK Gaming Commission), MGA (Malta Gambling Authority), or GGC (Gibraltar Gambling Commission) licenses is always a good sign.
If a gaming establishment has a license from Curacao or none at all, you should dig deep in player review sites and gauge its reputation. It’s normal for such businesses to receive complaints, but multiple comments on payouts that are delayed or not granted is an obvious red flag.
Lastly, here’s a list of leading live dealer studios that are held in high esteem:
- Evolution Gaming
- NetEnt Live
- Vivo Gaming
- Visionary iGaming
- Authentic Gaming
- Pragmatic Play
- LuckyStreak Live