Asia players shift interest from live tables to ETGs amid pandemic

Casino equipment suppliers have observed a trend of players in Asia shifting their interest from traditional live-dealer tables to ETGs amid the pandemic.

Factors include the relative ease of cleaning ETG surfaces, and the ease of maintaining social distancing rules by keeping alternate electronic table games terminals switched off.

A number of Asian operators has reported on the challenges posed by getting players at live-dealer tables to adhere to social distancing rules.

Jim Preston, product director of Scientific Games Corp, suggested that there were signs of players having “moved across from live tables to the ”.

Preston added there had been a massive increase in ETG play in Singapore versus pre-Covid-19 levels. Mr Preston said casino operators had been “very conscientious” about the frequency of cleaning processes on ETG terminals.

Executives from casino equipment suppliers Interblock DD and Weike Gaming Technology also had seen heightened player interest in ETGs on Asian casino floors.

“There has certainly been a shift from players who usually play at the traditional table games where crowding is expected, to ETGs where they have their own space,” Interblock’s president for Asia Pacific, Michael Hu said.

He added the change was due to several factors from “government-enforced social distancing for all indoor settings, the self-consciousness of individual well-being” regarding “fear of viral spread; and increased awareness of hygiene,” in relation to touching “physical chips, and cash handling”.

Weike’s Mr Lim said the company had observed the shift of players from live tables to ETGs in “Singapore, , and Vietnam”, and believed that more markets in Asia could be experiencing such a trend.

“We foresee this trend may continue during and even beyond this pandemic, as players get more used to playing on the ETGs, and operators do also see the many advantages associated with ETGs despite higher initial setup cost,” he stated.

Weike’s Mr Lim observed that what he termed “community games”, such as baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and sic-bo that would usually be played on live-dealer tables, were often being played by groups of people shifting to ETGs.


Editing by Rachel Hu