UK-listed online bookmaker William Hill is making a play for the Asian ex-pat gambler market by rolling out its new Macau-themed online casino.
Last week saw William Hill debut a new ‘Macau’ tab on its home page, which takes visitors to an Asian-themed site featuring a mix of live dealer and RNG casino games. The Macau games are available on both desktop and mobile web, as well as on machines in Hill’s retail betting shops.
The goal is to build on the success Hills has had with its Vegas casino tab, which offers a suite of in-house games independent of the games provided by technology supplier Playtech. The Vegas operation now contributes the majority of Hills’ online casino revenue, and reported growth of 19% in Q3 while non-Vegas casino revenue fell 17%.
In addition to exclusive slot content from Scientific Games, Hills’ Macau suite includes a new Live Baccarat Squeeze table courtesy of live dealer specialists Evolution Gaming. Hills is the first to enjoy Evolution’s new squeezable product, which won’t be available to the rest of Evolution’s licensees until January (and will be on display at the ICE Totally Gaming confab in London in February).
If you’re wondering where the squeeze comes in, you’ve obviously never been to Macau, where Chinese gamblers are notorious for engaging in ritual squeezing of their cards before revealing their face value. This practice invariably damages the cards to the point that they’re only used once, resulting in an annual card turnover of around 4.4b per year in Macau.
To ensure that William Hill’s players get the full Macau experience, Evolution’s Riga studio has equipped its Live Baccarat Squeeze table with 17 HD cameras to capture a variety of crystal clear close-ups of the cards as the dealer applies the ritual squeeze on behalf of the player.
Ironically, William Hill stopped serving the actual Macau market in August 2013 when it withdrew its services from China. Still, nice to give Macau residents a little taste of home next time they visit London…