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Medialive Casino Review

Sometimes, simplicity is the best policy. This can be true in the gaming world as much as anything else, as enhanced “features” can often get in the way of the playing experience, harming the overall product far more than they help.

That appears to be the train of thought employed by Medialive Casino, a live dealer game developer that has earned some popularity in selected European markets. You won’t find screens cluttered with statistics or other information; instead, you’ll enjoy a clean interface that allows you to easily follow the action, interact with the dealer, and – most of all – play the game. That’s not to say that there aren’t ways in which this approach can’t be innovative, however, as the company has found ways to be very creative with all that space they’ve saved.

Games That Get to the Point

Medialive provides a pretty standard selection of casino games. There’s nothing in the collection that particularly stands out as unusual, but they’re also not missing any of the “must have” core titles that you’d expect from any live casino product. That’s a long way of saying that they specialize in what we sometimes call the big three: blackjack, roulette, and baccarat.

The blackjack offering is direct and to the point. There isn’t much here to distract you: the video stream is of solid quality, and the tables feature seven spots for players to occupy. While the rules are identical at all of their tables (and are fairly typical for European games), there can be a bit of customization: the use of green screens allows for some different backgrounds to be used, and the table skins can vary a bit as well.

As for features, these games are pretty basic. There is a chat function that allows you to talk to your tablemates and your dealer, but other than that, your screen won’t be cluttered by much. There are no side bets, and there is no functionality for betting behind, so only the handful of players actually at the table can participate in each hand. Other than the small buttons that allow you to choose your actions and place your chips on the table, the screen is mostly devoted to the table itself – not a bad thing, but a different approach than what can be seen from some other live dealer providers. A VIP version of the table is very similar, only offering some higher limits for the high rollers out there.

Next up is roulette. The standard tables for this game have a little more going on than over in the blackjack games, but not by much: the main difference is a small box that does track the most recent numbers hit during the game, something that has become more or less standard in roulette games these days. The games themselves use a large layout and are played by European rules, with a single-zero format. Widescreen versions of the game add in the racetrack layout alongside the normal one, providing more betting options for players to choose from. There’s also an automated roulette game that is still broadcast live, but runs more quickly without a dealer necessary to push the action.

However, Medialive has developed a couple of different types of roulette games that offer twists on standard play – or at least the typical presentation you’d expect to see. The first is known as Jackpot Live Roulette. In this format, there are three progressive jackpots that are tied to the numbers being spun on the wheel. If a number comes up three times in a row, all players who bet on that number will win a portion of the “Bronze” jackpot. If the number comes up a fourth time, then the Silver jackpot will be split (again, based on the amount wagered on it by each player). Finally, the massive Gold jackpot is granted should any number be spun five times in a row. For the record, the odds of each jackpot being triggered starting from a new number are:

  • Bronze: 1,368-1
  • Silver: 50,652-1
  • Gold: 1,874,160-1

Another version of the game, known as Sport Roulette, is clearly designed to take advantage of the very clean interface at these tables. The concept is simple: while you’re playing in the casino, why not watch a sporting event, too? A large television (or a simulation of one) is set up next to the dealer, displaying a major competition while you play your game. This is actually a nice way of emulating the real brick-and-mortar resort experience: many real world casinos have plenty of televisions for viewing, too. Sporting events covered include football (soccer), basketball, tennis, rugby, and auto racing.

Finally, there’s every high roller’s favorite game: baccarat. Once again, the screen is fairly uncluttered, though you’ll see a little more on the graphical overlay that in other games: while there are no side bets on the blackjack tables, there is a pairs bet here if you’re interested in getting a little extra action.

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High Penetration in Specific Markets

Medialive is unabashedly a European company: since they were founded in 2005, they have been headquartered in Malta, and most of their games are still broadcast from a studio on the island. Of the couple dozen casinos that use their software, many of them are located in Italy, and the rest operate in various European jurisdictions. The company holds licenses in both the UK and Italy.

Not all locations receive the exact same games, however. In some areas, Medialive has begun broadcasting some games from live resorts: for instance, in Slovenia, you can enjoy roulette out of the Nova Gorica Casino, while Italian customers can enjoy both roulette and baccarat live from the Sanremo Casino. Games are also offered in a handful of different languages, primarily English and Italian.

As with most providers, the betting limits vary depending on where you access these games – though we wouldn’t expect you to find any of the crazy high limits that are sometimes offered at a few of the biggest live dealer companies. A typical blackjack table might offer limits of €5 to €1,000; head on over to the VIP tables, and they could rise up to €20-€2,000. Roulette betting tends to be modest, with a maximum of perhaps €20 on individual number bets at some sites, with even lower limits available on the automated games.

A Solid Choice in Regulated Markets

Depending on where you live, you may be quite familiar with the games provided by Medialive, or you may never have heard of them. Either way, that’s okay: this is going to be a product that’s great for some players if it’s available in your market, but hardly one that you’ll miss a ton if you’re somewhere where they do not operate.

That’s not a criticism of their games: in fact, we have very little bad to say about any of the Medialive offerings. They are solid through and through, if not spectacular in any particular way. The crisp, clean interfaces are exactly what most players are looking for in a gambling product; while some players may enjoy the more eye-catching visuals of some of their competitors, we think most will appreciate games that simply work the way they’re meant to, with few unnecessary frills attached.

There are a couple areas in which some improvement could be made. If you’re into the social interaction with dealers that can be a hallmark of these games, we’re not sure how happy you’ll be about the general demeanor of the hostesses of these games. It’s not that they’re bad at their jobs, by any means, but they aren’t the most outgoing group – we’ve seen lots of examples of them looking bored while on camera, which isn’t the ideal visual for players who are trying to enjoy an immersive casino experience. The table maximums also tend to be a bit low on these games: usually not low enough to impact the play of a typical gambler, but we can imagine a fair number of high rollers being disappointed, especially at the roulette tables.

That’s why we say you probably won’t feel like you’re missing out on a lot if Medialive isn’t an option in your market. However, those are all fairly minor complaints, and the overall product here is very good. The special roulette versions are pretty fun – the jackpot is enticing, while the integration of sporting events at some tables is a truly inspired way to attract more players – and every game features excellent presentation from the studio, working flawlessly from a technical perspective in our experience. If you’re playing in the UK, Italy, or anywhere else these games are available (and you’re not one to play at nosebleed stakes only), it’s definitely worth playing and seeing if this minimalist style is what you’re looking for in a live dealer experience.

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