There are a number of reasons as to why the online casino industry has grown in leaps and bounds over the years and turned into a multi-billion dollar business across the world. One of the main reasons is that software providers have continued to innovate and develop their software to a level where they are able to provider players with an experience that is seamless and in many ways similar to a real life casino.
- In 1994, Microgaming became the first software provider to launch a real money online casino. They pioneered the way for others and it wasn’t long before the likes Cryptologic (1995), Boss Media (1996), Grand Virtual (1997), Party Gaming (1997), Playtech (1999) got on board and started providing competition to Microgaming.
- During the early days, most online casinos used to offer flash based games that a player could access from their desktop. Software providers went a step further and in the early 2000s online casinos offered their players a downloadable version that allowed them to launch the online casino from their desktop.
- Betfair launched in 2000 and became a very popular with online gamblers as the online website relied on a unique model. Instead of accepting bets from players like most of the other casinos, Betfair decided to introduce a system where players could place bets with each other. The model turned out to be a great success and is still used by hundreds of casinos today.
- In 2002, live betting was introduced for the first time and it was the start of the online sports betting industry as it allowed players to make wagers on live sports betting events.
- eCogra was established in 2003 and is an independent testing agency that is based out of the United Kingdom and widely recognized as one of the top gaming certifications by online casinos.
- Playtech, Microgaming and Evolution offer liver dealer casino software that allows online casinos to offer players the ability to interact with a live dealer while playing online. Playtech was the first to launch in 2003 followed by Microgaming and Evolution in 2006.
- Live casino games and live mobile games were launched in 2012 as players started showing a preference of using their smartphones and tables to play online casino games.
- Bitcoin – a crypto-currency started becoming a hit in the online gambling industry and software providers and casino operators were quick to make changes to their software to facilitate the use of btc.
Casino Software Providers
Liver Dealer Casinos
Evolution Gaming, Extreme Live Gaming and Net Entertainment are some of the leading software providers of live dealer casinos.
Liver dealer casinos are possible today because unlike in the late 90s and early 2000s, bandwidth is no longer a problem, live streaming has become mainstream in a number of industries and online casinos are always looking to provider players with a gaming experience that is as close to possible as one that a brick & mortar casino provides.
Most live dealer casinos provide games such as live dealer baccarat, live dealer blackjack and live dealer poker.
- Online casino software providers have also invested heavily into mobile gaming as they recognized the fact that the market has moved on from desktops to smartphones and tablets.
- Playtech, NetEnt and Betsoft are some of the leading mobile casino developers and their mobile casino games are in great demand as just about every online casino offers its players a mobile app version with a wide portfolio of games.
- HTML5 is the latest development in the mobile casino gaming industry. A technology that is still in its infancy, it enables players to access casino games on their smartphones and tablets without having to download any native gaming software.
- There are now more than 100 software providers. Some of them provide a complete casino gaming software platform while some focus only on developing innovative games.
- Online casino providers develop apps that are almost always compatible with the Android and iOS platforms as they are the two most popular mobile platforms in the world and used by billions of people across the globe.
- Mobile gaming will continue to grow at a massive pace in the coming years and casino software providers are continuing to invest heavily into mobile gaming technology to innovate and develop new games that will keep them ahead of their competitors.
Explosion of Niche Game Developers
While the likes of Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt have dominated the online casino software industry for decades, a number of smaller casino developers have surfaced over the last few years and they have carved a niche for themselves by choosing to specialize in different areas of the online casino market and as a result have experienced success as they do not directly compete with the major casino software providers.
Big movers include the likes of Betsoft, Blueprint Gaming, Realistic, Quickspin and Yggdrasil Gaming. The success of these niche game software developers can be put down to the fact that they choose to specialize in one or two areas and reach a smaller section of the market. They avoid competition with the likes of Microgaming and Playtech and they look to differentiate products from the competition in different ways through innovative graphics (Betsoft and Blueprint) or amazing storylines (Betsoft and Rabcat). There are roughly 90 such companies and new ones spring up regularly.
Casino Software FAQs
Casino software solutions developed by noted vendors are absolutely safe and secure. Before deciding whether to trust a software provider or not, you must take into consideration the following factors.
Licensing: The best software providers take compliance issues seriously. They offer their services only in regulated markets and only after obtaining the required license to do so. To make things better than ever, they display the licensing information prominently on their official website.
Safe Banking Solutions: Software providers use the latest encryption, fraud detection, anti money laundering, and firewall technologies to secure their banking system. Your money, credit card details, bank account information, and financial transactions are, therefore, safe and secure.
Freedom Given to Licensees: The publicly traded software providers such as Net Entertainment and Playtech do not allow licensees to tweak their software to their advantage. This helps to maintain a safe and fair gaming atmosphere at the online casinos that operate on their software platforms.
Regular Audits: Software providers that have their gaming software and random number generators regularly tested for fairness and accuracy are the ones that can be trusted the most.
You should make sure that the software provider that powers your online casino is licensed for the following reasons:
- Licensing gives the provider the permission to offer its services within a particular jurisdiction.
- Licensed providers are required to maintain top industry standards in order to retain their licenses.
- Licensed software providers can be trusted to take issues such as responsible gambling, safety and security, game fairness, and customer care seriously.
A software provider's random number generator and software solutions are tested by independent companies that are not related in any way to the provider. Some of these independent companies are iTech Labs, Gaming Laboratories International, Technical Systems Testing, eCOGRA, and Pricewaterhousecoopers, to mention just a few.
These are the various steps a newly developed game goes through before it is released to the gaming public:
- New slots games undergo a tough beta testing period.
- The game is then sent to any of the above-mentioned auditors for further testing and certification.
- Once the games are released in online casinos, they are tested every month by independent auditors who go through their gaming logs carefully and issue fresh certificates.
- Software providers allow players to check their own gaming history so that they can make sure that the games are fully fair.
RNG, which stands for random number generator, is an algorithm that is used in computing whenever results are required to be random. But RNGs are pseudo random as they generate number sequences that just appear to be random. However, this doesn't mean that RNGs are not fair. Software providers take the following measures to ensure that RNGs are as trustworthy as possible.
- Continuous payout percentage and RNG verification
- Complete security audits
- Game evaluations
- RNG evaluations
In simple words, RNGs are continuously tested and verified to ensure that players receive a truly fair and random gaming experience.
Nobody can declare any one software provider to be the best. This is because each provider is unique, standing in a class of its own. Each provider varies with regard to game portfolio, product and service portfolio, licensing, history, awards won, and so on. For example, Microgaming offers a huge range of online video slots and releases new titles on a regular basis. On the other hand, Net Entertainment releases fewer titles but focuses more on game quality and innovation.
Some software providers, such as Yggdrasil, are brand new and present an interesting gaming experience. If you are looking for something unique like 3D slots and iSlots, you have to play at online casinos offering BetSoft Gaming games and Rival Powered games, respectively. It all depends on your personal tastes and preferences. With such a wide range of software providers in the industry, you will always have plenty of choice.