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NetPlay TV

While the live dealer games we talk about vary from developer to developer, they typically tend to have a few things in common. Each provider creates a suite of games that they license out to a number of different casinos, hosting them from their studios in whatever part of the world suits them best. Each studio contains a number of different tables designed to accommodate players at these sites. And while the live dealer aspects are certainly different than traditional online casino games, they’re still played entirely within the website that hosts them.

But NetPlay TV is a different animal entirely. The company creates games for mass audiences who can watch the live games take place on television, playing along with thousands of those gamblers who are all betting together. It’s a unique experience that’s like nothing else in the industry. While the game selection is extremely narrow due to the nature of these televised game shows, there’s nothing quite like playing in a game and then seeing your name flash across television screens all over the country, making this a very appealing experience for many bettors.

Roulette Designed for the Small Screen

At the moment, NetPlay TV contracts with two Internet casino brands to produce two love shows that are broadcast to viewers across the United Kingdom. In both cases, the game of choice is roulette, which makes a lot of sense: it’s a game that can easily be played by an unlimited number of participants with very little stress on the presenter, who can focus on providing an engaging and entertaining experience for viewers rather than having to read cards, explain complex rules, or otherwise bog down the action.

The result are two popular television programs that viewers can watch from home while wagering from their computers, mobile phones, or tablets at the associated websites that sponsor these shows. Both shows are treated like high-quality game shows, with flashy studios, well-dressed hosts, and modern graphics that help viewers keep track of the action. In both cases, only European single-zero roulette is played during these broadcasts.

The first of these shows is Jackpot247 (played from Jackpot247.com). Formerly known as Challenge Jackpot, the main program airs on ITV from 10 pm to 3 am every night, with Sky 866 also broadcasting an express, automated roulette table from 4 am through 10 pm daily. The presentation here is extremely slick: the studio setting is hyper-modern, and again resembles something you would see on a game show series like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire or The Weakest Link. The centerpiece is a giant wheel in the backdrop, which generates the winning numbers for each spin.

The other broadcast is SuperCasino, which is associated with SuperCasino.com. Once again, the games with live presenters are broadcast during the overnight hours, this time on Channel 5 from midnight to 4 am. The live hosts actually arrive much earlier, at 6 pm each evening; viewers on Sky 862 can watch them starting at that earlier hour, and the automatic Roulette Express, without a host, is broadcast during all other hours on that same channel.

Launched in 2005, SuperCasino was the first ever live television roulette program in the UK, and features a slightly more restrained studio for its games. The presenters guide players through each spin on a small studio, with a casino-themed backdrop adding to the mood. That said, this show is just as high-tech as Jackpot247, even if the mood is slightly different: the same flashy graphics help explain the action, show where players are putting their money before each spin, and dramatically introduce each and every spin.

It should be noted that each of these games is also available online through their associated websites. Just like any other live dealer game, you can just log into the casino and play straight from there, ignoring the televised aspect of the games entirely.

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A Service Made for the UK

But it’s hard to imagine that many players will take that option, since these games are specifically made for television audiences to enjoy. Place a bet, and you may see your name on a display of the many wagers that are around the virtual table layout for the upcoming spin. Win, and you may be listed amongst the real winners in an on-screen graphic. If a host notices your screenname, he or she might even talk about you a bit to the countless viewers at home, which can be a real thrill for most people who will never get the chance to be part of another TV broadcast.

Obviously, this is also a platform designed entirely to be enjoyed by the British. NetPlay’s license from the UK Gambling Commission is what allows it to broadcast these games with its media partners; even if you can see these games from outside the UK, you aren’t allowed to participate in the betting. As such, the presentations are made entirely and exclusively in English, and the hosts are happy to talk about the latest current events and pop culture that their UK audience will recognize.

These are also programs that are transparently designed to get more and more people to sign up for the associated casinos. There is constant and frank discussion about the free and deposit bonuses available to new players, and so while these programs are a lot of fun to participate in, they are also in many ways very long advertisements for online gambling.

However, given the wide reach of these shows, there is certainly a casual feel to the proceedings, and that shows in the fact that viewers are more than welcome to play along at home for free. Once you actually get into playing, the table limits are also designed to appeal to a broad range of players. The minimum bets of just £1 make it easy to watch for a few hours and spend very little even if luck isn’t on your side, while a maximum of £1,000 during the live games is enough to build a lot of huge and create some very big winners – great both for the lucky players and for the casino sites, who are happy to trade a few massive payouts for the ability to show those amazing moments with a nationwide audience.

A Different Approach to Live Casino Play

NetPlay TV has some obvious advantages and drawbacks when compared to a more typical live dealer provider. In fact, they are almost an entirely different kind of product thanks to their focus on television rather than on providing a studio full of games to various casino operators.

Still, what would we say about this group if we were evaluating them like any of the other groups that supply similar games? First, we have to praise the quality of their presentation, which is almost unparalleled in the industry. This is to be expected, given the apples to oranges comparison here: NetPlay has the resources of major television networks on their side, something none of their rivals can count on. But even still, it’s clear that a lot of work has gone into making these games attractive and fun to play, and since even online-only players benefit from the outstanding quality of the video and audio production, it’s definitely a point in the company’s favor.

On a similar note, we also have to praise the hosts for their warm, affable personalities and gregarious nature. Again, this is an advantage that comes with their broadcast connections: having trained presenters adds a lot to the atmosphere and helps involve the audience in the action, making the games feel more communal and – most importantly – more fun than just playing alone.

The above factors mean that for what they are, the NetPlay TV games are among the best in the world. However, we’ve already pointed out that they aren’t like most live dealer platforms. When you evaluate them against those products for gamblers looking for an overall live casino solution, then some obvious shortcoming emerge.

The most obvious of these, of course, is the very limited game selection. The roulette games may be good, but with little else on offer, there is no reason why a baccarat or blackjack player would be enticed to play them. Beyond that, the games here are also limited in their reach by their focus on the UK market. Of course, there’s no way around that on the television side: the idea is that these are British television programs for UK players. But the consequences extend even to the online world, as the English-only presentation isn’t idea for audiences in the rest of Europe (though roulette is such a simple game that we suspect most players could manage to work around this).

In reality, though, we can’t hold any of that against NetPlay, which created their games with a very specific niche in mind. It’s a corner of the market that they have made an excellent product for, as their television games are extremely entertaining and interesting to watch for a bit even if you don’t intend to actually lay down any bets. This is in no way the kind of live dealer platform that every player is looking for, but if you’re in the UK and you want to play roulette, you’ll have a lot of fun by tuning in and joining the rest of the country in the nightly live-host games.

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