How important is the software used in online casinos? Quite simply, without these software platforms there would be no online casinos around for us to play on. This hi-tech software is the foundation of all online casinos, providing players with thrilling games of all types of genres.
Each different casino software has its own variety of games. But it’s not just the games that set them apart from one another: you’re also looking for differences such as graphics, security, file size and speed.
Online casino software also has a set of responsibilities to comply with. For instance, they must carry out monthly payout percentage reports and compliance tests. Other important features, including the source code, payout minimum and the software itself, will be reviews by independent testers. This is all to make sure that you – the player! – receives a fair game.
So, that’s a little bit of the knowledge behind online casinos software. But who are the main players in this field?
Established back in 2000, the London-based games development company Ash Gaming has built up a sturdy reputation for creating top-notch games. The team usually takes inspiration from themes popular at the moment. So, while their games may not be as numerous as those found on other platforms, they’re always hits with players.
Cryptologic is considered to be one of the five industry heavyweights, with their software found on a number of top online casinos. They’re perhaps best known for the wide range of slot games. In particular, their partnership with Marvel enabled them to become the first to offer superhero-themed slots. They currently offer around 280 casino games in total, with around 20 added each year.
The award-winning Evolution Gaming may be younger than other companies on this list, but that hasn’t stopped them revolutionizing the live online casino industry. In fact, they’re even considered ‘the world leader in video-streamed live dealer gaming’, which gives you an idea of their leading stature.
Based out in Nevada, IGT is a real giant in its field. It made its name in land-based slot machines as far back as 1950. You even have IGT to thank for the first ever wide-area progressive jackpot slot machines! IGT are probably best known for their branded titles, such as Monopoly and Cluedo, but they’ve also dipped into casino table games.
Microgaming is considered by many to be the best of the best. Not only is it one of the world’s largest providers of online gaming software, but the games (all 600+ of them!) feature some familiar titles and themes. Check out Coral, Winner and Ladbrokes online casinos to see just what Microgaming offer.
NetEnt gaming software features at many of the top online casinos around, and prides itself on creating some of the ‘best and most exciting’ games in the industry. To date, NetEnt’s game suite numbers over 100; not only does this include slots, but it also includes baccarat, roulette and blackjack – even keno!
Award after award tends to follow NextGen around – for good reason, in fact, as the company’s portfolio brims over with slot games that appeal to newbies and casino veterans. Best of all, most of its games can be enjoyed without needing to be downloaded, which means they’re accessible to all.
Heard of slots games including Lucky Lady’s Charm? Book of Ra? Sizzling Hot? Yep, they’re all Novomatic – one of the industry greats! And, with over 19,000 employees worldwide, they’ve certainly got the manpower to keep on growing even further. It’s also the biggest land-based casino game provider, providing games to 70 different countries.
Playtech has continued to rise through the ranks over the last decade thanks to its cinema-branded slot games and fantastic graphics. Auto-play is also a Playtech feature, which is quickly taking the online gaming industry by storm. Plus, they also feature huge jackpots and bonuses! Their Certificate of Random Number Generator Evaluation also helps to improve the randomness of jackpot/bonus results.
About Casino Software
Nowadays, we know casino softwares to be of increasingly high quality, but that hasn’t always been the case. Back in 1994, the first online gambling software was developed by Microgaming and involved having to purchase a CD-ROM to download all the necessary software!
As you can imagine, with dial-up modems still in force, this was a long, slow nightmare.
Over the years, the technology improved massively thanks to the introduction of Flash technology and faster gaming software. As Flash became more and more widely used, online casinos did away with CD-ROMs and introduced downloadable plug-ins.
It wasn’t until 1998 that things really started to kick off, however. The first linked jackpot, the Cash Splash online slot game, was introduced by Micrograming, followed by the first online poker client by Planet Poker. By the end of that year, there were over 700 real-money casinos operating online!
Now, of course, the java platform has completely revolutionised online gaming, and turned the gaming sphere into what we know and love. Not only is there now no need for CD-ROMs, there’s also no need for downloading casino software. Instant, in-browser play is now commonplace at online casinos all over the web, which also allows for gamers to play on-the-go on smart devices.
How do casinos ensure fairness?
There are many procedures put in place by online casinos to ensure that all players can enjoy a fair game. One such way is ‘random number generation’ (RNG). Or, to make things a little more complicated, ‘Pseudo Random Number Generators’ (PRNG), an alternative algorithm which produces pre-determined outcomes resulting in a set payout percentage.
Organisations such as eCOGRA independently audit these payout percentages of games based on PRNGs. This is for a number of reasons, including to ensure casinos publish accurate payout percentages and to make sure that there’s no hint of cheating.
Mobile Gaming Software
Think about this for a second. By 2018, all bets made on mobile devices will, in total, amount to $100 billion. That will come from over 164 million people using their mobiles and tablets to play games. When you’re confronted with those numbers then you can easily see why so many people are watching the burgeoning format so closely. It’s massive.
With now almost everyone in possession of a smartphone, and an estimated 50% of all gamers using their phones to play, it makes sense that there’s increased focus on mobile software development. Most of the initial developments were made to online casino’s desktop sites and making them more user-friendly and responsive. That essentially meant that gamers could replicate their desktop experience as long as they had an HTML5-enable browser on their phones.
But that’s not where the challenges stopped, as responsiveness of a website doesn’t always optimise the experience. Especially when you consider all the challenges presented to software developers, such as the fact that mobiles have touchscreens. So the point-and-click action that you’d use on desktops no longer is functional. With that in mind, a lot of companies put in a lot of time and money to fix those issues. The answer? Their own commissioned and designed app.
Now, while these apps take a huge investment of time and money to be launched, they have distinct advantages. Firstly, they’re more accessible as they can be launched with one click, as opposed to navigating through a browser. It also means you can save and resume playing your favourite games almost instantly. Secondly, the developer doesn’t need to try and make their software fit into a different framework – they can decide the look and feel of it all the way through. What’s more is that companies like Flurry estimate that 86% of mobile users spend their time in apps rather than browsing the web.
What Are The Leading Mobile Developers Doing?
When it comes to sports betting, then you can’t really look past Playtech’s subsidiary company called Mobenga who have revolutionised the mobile gaming arena. Founded in 2005, the Swedish company is used by Paddy Power and Ladbrokes among many others.
Another company leading the way is Microgaming, who create innovative software for Windows, iOS and Android devices in a mixture of Flash, HTML5 and C++. They were responsible for creating the world’s first ever online slot for a smartwatch – The Dark Knight Rises on the Samsung Gear 2.
Lastly, another company worth mentioning is NetEntertainment who have developed a NetEnt Touch portfolio of games. They’ve taken their best known desktop games and redesigned them from the ground up to feel like they’re native to the app technology. The graphics, sounds and features all feel like a cut above the rest.
Top Mobile Casinos
There are plenty of online casinos that offer a mobile gaming experience, whether through an app or some in-browser play. But a few of them do stand out. bgo’s app took a while to develop, but good things came to those who waited. It’s a smooth, slick app with a wonderful UI and even better UX. You’ll even get 10 free spins for downloading it.
Alternatively, Leo Vegas is another well-known award-winning alternative. It has won many awards including Mobile Casino Product of the Year at the EGR Innovative Awards in 2014, and has continued into 2015 and 2016 in similar fashion.