With a proliferation of online gaming companies in recent years, punters are often spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting the most suitable casinos or betting sites. Factors to consider include how safe the site is, the variety of gaming options available, payment solutions, and the overall betting experience.
What is often overlooked is the gaming softwares that power online casinos. It is these developers who are largely responsible for the end-to-end expertise on offer, be it the most entertaining games, the highest quality graphics, or the best payouts. With this in mind, we take a look here at the five best casino software providers in the online gambling industry:
Perhaps the biggest and most renown name in this space, Microgaming are the pioneers who launched the first ever online casino in 1994. Since then, their business evolved spectacularly as they began to license their games to other companies, and focussed on creating newer, innovative gaming solutions. They release new titles at a more prolific rate than any other developer, and are constantly creating game-changing progressive slot-machines and table games.
They currently offer over 850 casino games, and more than 700 brands use their software, including popular names such as the Carmen Media Group, Fortune Lounge Group, Betway, 32Red and the Palace Group. Along with the more classic formats of slots, video poker and roulette, they also provide downloadable versions of their games with advanced sound and graphics, and helpful tutorials for newcomers. The slot games have the added bonus of huge progressive jackpots, whose payouts today total over €820 million, and one of which has been hit at just over €6 million.
With more than 20 years of experience in the online gaming industry, NetEnt offers some of the highest quality games available, which have deservedly won numerous awards for their exceptional graphics and innovative gameplay. NetEnt isn’t as big as some of the other providers, featuring just over 200 games on its roster; but what it lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality.
Using simple, user-friendly interfaces and account management systems, the company’s games have set the standard across a variety of mobile and desktop platforms. Slot games make up the majority of NetEnt’s library, which also includes classic casino games such as Blackjack, Roulette and Craps. Some of their most popular, visually stunning slot games are South Park, Gonzo’s Quest, Jack and the Beanstalk, Aliens, Starburst, Jack Hammer, and Guns ’N’ Roses. They now serve over 170 online operators, including 888 Casino, BetVictor and Royal Panda.
Created a few years after the launch of Microgaming, Playtech made rapid strides in a short space of time to rival the size and achievements of its illustrious predecessor. Recognised as one of the most inventive and forward-thinking developers, the brand is responsible for some of the most popular casino games in the world.
Having exclusively provided slots based on iconic superhero characters from the Marvel Comics universe, the company announced a new partnership last year with Warner Bros, for the development of DC Comics branded slot games such as Batman and Superman.
Playtech also boasts the largest selection of omni-channel bingo games, an industry-leading poker platform called iPoker, authentic live dealer experiences, a 3D virtual sports platform, sports betting, and an ever-growing library of over 600 casino games. They also pioneered a cross-platform interface which allows players to seamlessly switch devices while using the same account. They provide games to many gaming operators, such as Bet365, Mr Green and ComeOn.
Having made a name for themselves dealing in land-based casino slot machines in Las Vegas, IGT successfully expanded their online portfolio across Europe to become a hugely popular brand with players across the pond. Holding several licenses that allow their operation in a number of countries worldwide, IGT games adhere to strict standards when it comes to matters of player protection, fairness and integrity.
While their selection of over 150 online casino games isn’t close to the number offered by the likes of Microgaming and Playtech, they do offer a wide variety. The majority of their offerings are highly-regarded, unique variants of slots, some of which have a retro feel in homage to the classic land-based games. Many of their games also boast cutting-edge technology and graphics, along with mobile compatibility, and at least one of them can usually be found in all of the biggest online casinos such as Unibet, Genting and Guts.
5. Realtime Gaming (RTG)
Launched 20 years ago in 1998, RTG was once considered to be part of the ‘Top 10’ in the industry, behind only Microgaming and Playtech. Known for an excellent and wide-ranging selection of downloadable and stand-alone games, RTG today provides its software to over 50 online casinos.
While the popularity and size of the casinos using their software isn’t as big as the aforementioned companies, RTG does provide over 300 new and classic games across all game families and platforms. Their slots and table games are the most popular, while they also offer a long list of progressive slots, tournaments and other live dealer experiences.
Players can enjoy unique offerings at RTG casinos, as the company provides customisations and distinctive branding for each of their clients. In addition, their powerful Business Intelligence suite delivers extensive statistical and visual data related to players, affiliates, conversion rates, bonuses, and retention.