There is an old adage that the best ideas take shape when you least expect them.
Marcus Katz, founder of up-and-coming gaming company Avantage Entertainment, had only recently moved on from selling billions of dollars in educational loan business assets when he began making trips from his home in San Diego to Las Vegas, where he quickly developed a fascination for the game of baccarat.
“I saw some big games with people betting a half million dollars per hand, and they looked like they were having a lot of fun doing it,” he recalls.
“Everyone was using score cards to follow trends, creating a game on top of a game in their own mind.
“Rituals are a big part of the game, so I started thinking about how much more fun it would be if everyone at the table had their own hand to squeeze?”
And what if, Katz mused, you built this idea out a little further to include multiple rounds of betting?
It was this original concept that ultimately resulted in Avantage taking out 23 utility patents across the world, including in Europe, North America and much of Asia such as China, Macau, Singapore and many others.
Taking live dealer to the next level, Avantage Baccarat will upon its impending launch be hosted from a London studio and streamed online, live, to the rest of the world, allowing people to play along on their computers and digital devices.
This unique concept, filmed and produced in the form of a television show, will see a cast of characters physically playing the game from the studio. A 90-minute pilot episode, having already been filmed, is receiving rave reviews.
According to Ken Ross, a former movie business executive and described as Avantage’s resident creative genius, “We are in the process of forming alliances with licensed operators in different countries to partner with us to bring this special game to market.”
Avantage Baccarat will be supported by the Avantage Competition Engine (ACE) – the company’s global competition platform – which will enable single level pools that can be entered for as little as $1 and as much as $10K, multi-level pools where players can win their way up (or buy their way in to compete for shares of greater payouts), targeted tournaments, challenges and social competitions.
“In the television business, nobody has really been successful in putting out a truly immersive second screen experience,” Ross says. “So, to have a television show that is streamed, but to then be able to play along with it at the same time as you’re viewing it and integrating those two experiences into one, is something nobody has been able to pull off.”
The Avantage Baccarat team will be at G2E Asia Special Edition: Singapore from 24 to 26 August ahead of a planned Q4 release of the social version of the game.
Visit www.avantageentertainment.com for more information.