What’s Next for the Future of Baccarat?

Baccarat wager
The numbers behind Macau's Baccarat scene are astounding, with the game generating MOP268 bn ($33 bn) in 2018 alone for casinos on the Chinese-owned island. It’s the top taker by far in the world’s most prominent gaming hub too, and VIPs are responsible for most of that figure, bringing last year's annual revenue to MOP166bn; 10% higher than the results posted for 2017. Baccarat revenue for the year came to MOP102bn, up 21% from the VIP tables.

Even when looking back at past financial performances of the table game in question, it is clear that it forms the very foundation of casino action in the special administrative territory. VIP revenues may have dropped consistently from 2013 to 2016 before picking back up again recently, but overall, the numbers speak for themselves.

Potential Pros of Modernization

With that said, there is still one big question looming in the industry; does Baccarat’s popularity excuse it from having to modernize its offerings? Is its current format at its peak, or can it improve in some way? CMO of RTG Asia Alex Czajkowski has recently looked into what makes the game so incredibly popular, and has had a few insights to share as a result.

According to Czajkowski, Baccarat has been enjoyed for decades in Macau, and while that is definitely part of its appeal, it doesn’t represent the whole story. He says that it is actually the low hold on either side of the banker or player bets – 1.064% and 1.228% respectively – that keeps players coming back for more. Essentially, it’s similar to a 50/50 wager, which only drives players’ anticipation further.

Players Encouraged to Go Online

Changing a tried and trusted formula for success might not boost revenues significantly to begin with, but in Las Vegas, they have been met favourably nonetheless. Success has been found in altering and diversifying the offerings around the game instead, according to recent news reports.

Former Nevada Gaming Control Agent Bill Zender says that before Asian gamblers began to pour into Sin City, Baccarat was a very dressy occasion, often including tuxedoed dealers, evening gown-donning women, and opulent double tables. As the allure of Las Vegas grew, he says, so did Baccarat’s important to the region, especially considering that high rollers began to take a particular interest in it – although they cared less about its pageantry than its potential.

The experts now believe that today, Baccarat can continue to reach its potential by finding a home online. Asian gamblers are often heavily restricted by their governments in terms of betting, but going online would make it easier to wager for real money without encountering hefty minimum bet levels and other deterrents. The bonuses, convenience and perks of playing for cash are also amplified in a virtual setting, allowing players to truly make the most of the game they know and love.