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Casino Software Providers

Tipanis Shudraka
| July 22, 2021 | Reading time: 8 min
| Views: 7K

If you’ve ever played at an online casino before, you’ll know that the best sites are absolutely teeming with games. There are slots of just about every theme you can imagine, virtual versions of every single table game you’ll find in Vegas, and these days, amazing live dealer options too.

You might be crediting the casino themselves for coming up with all these games – but you’d be wrong. You’ve got a casino software provider to thank for that.

Software providers design and create casino games, which online casinos pay to include on their sites. There are hundreds or software providers out there, from big names you’ll probably recognize to small independent studios.

On this page, we’re explaining exactly what you need to know about software providers and why they are important. We’ve got tons of details:

Contents

    What Exactly is a Software Provider?

    Live Casino SoftwareA software provider is a specialist company that designs and creates software used by online casinos. Primarily, they create the actual games that we end up playing – but plenty of them provide many additional pieces of software too, from payment solutions to customer support platforms and more.

    Basically, software providers can supply every piece of software you need to create an online casino.

    It’s something of a common misconception that online casinos create their own games, but in reality this is rarely the case. Instead, with so many high quality providers around competing for business, it makes sense that they can choose the best games from different designers.

    Sometimes online casinos are exclusively powered by a single provider, so that you’ll only find Microgaming games at a casino for example. But more often these days, casinos like to cherry pick games from a variety of software providers – which is great for us!

    Online casinos and betting sites pay a licensing fee to the providers to host the games. The actual money we deposit and gamble with, and anything we end up losing, is all in the possession of the casino, not the software provider.

    Designing casino games – especially now with modern technology and the ever-increasing ambition of gaming studios – is an extremely creative activity. If you’re a long time casino gaming fan, you’re certain to have been blown away by a new game every now and again. That’s a software provider doing its job well.

    What Types of Game do Software Providers Create?

    Software providers basically supply any type of software hosted by an online casino, but their number one concern is with casino games. The best casinos these days have many hundreds or even thousands of games on their books, of a wide variety of categories.

    Slots

    Live Slot GamesOnline slots are the most widely played casino games in the world, and the majority of the gaming menu at any casino is taken up by slots.

    Slot design has undergone something of a revolution in the last decade or more. There will always be a market for classic and retro slots – fruit machines and gems, 3 reels with fixed paylines, lucky 7’s and BARs.

    But modern slot games often feel more like something from Xbox. They have bonus games and side-quests, 3D animations, cut-screen narratives and more.

    Some software providers even have exclusive deals with movie studios or TV companies to produce official slot games of the movie or show.

    Then there are non-traditionally designed slots, with irregular grids and novel payout structures.

    The continued rise of casino software providers and the advances in online slot games are inextricably linked, and for a long time that was never more obvious than in slot design.

    Table Games

    New Live Casino GamesOne reason that slots are the most popular online game is that there is just so much scope to create new games with new structures and new themes.

    The same can’t really be said to the same extent for classic casino table games, which also make up an essential part of any online casino’s gaming options.

    Blackjack, roulette, video poker, craps, baccarat, keno, sic bo: you can find and play different versions of all of these and more produced by all the top software providers.

    There are also bingo and lottery style table games.

    Live Dealer Games

    Variations Of Live Roulette GamesLive dealer games are arguably both the next and current big thing in online casino gambling.

    They involve playing a real casino game in real time, with a real dealer who uses physical equipment, and a high quality video feed. The betting platform is virtual, but the game is entirely real.

    Successful software providers need to be at the cutting edge of the latest trends in casino gaming, so it’s no surprise that so many have turned their attention to producing their own unique live dealer game suites.

    Microgaming and NetEnt are examples of providers that have turned their attention to live dealer tables in recent years, after decades of being some of the most popular suppliers of traditional casino games. Evolution Gaming on the other hand has been almost solely focused on live dealer games since it was founded in 2006.

    Software Providers and Security

    Casino Software SafetyThe relationship between casinos and software providers is a great one for us from a security point of view.

    Simply put, software providers need to prove that they are safe, fair and dependable in order for casinos to continue stocking their games.

    This means that the top providers tend to have gaming licenses themselves, often from the likes of Malta or Gibraltar in the case of the big European providers. They also have partnerships with independent testing labs and regulators, which check that the games themselves are fair and that the RNGs are functioning as they should.

    Look out for badges from the likes of eCOGRA testing labs which will be prominently displayed on providers’ websites.

    The distinction between software providers and casinos also makes a lot of sense in that it is inherently transparent.

    If a casino was relying solely on its own software and created its own games, with no regulatory oversight, the door is theoretically open for some dodgy activities. When casinos use licenced software providers it’s a guarantee that the games are fair and the software is dependable.

    How Do We Rate Software Providers?

    There is plenty of natural variation among different software providers. Some have exclusive games or specific specialities. When it comes to design, many providers have their own “feel” which some players end up identifying with more than others.

    There are lots of practical concerns to take into account too. Things like licenses, mobile compatibility, accessibility and more.

    Our expert team at BetSpin have decades of experience with online casino games, and have been playing games from some of the best providers professionally and recreationally for many years.

    Not only do they understand what makes a good software provider, but they are intimately familiar with all the best providers, how similar they are and where they are different.

    Below, you can see some of the things that make a software provider stand out.

    Game Design

    Designing games is an art, and every provider has its own specific style.

    Design encompasses graphics, animation, interface, storyline, sound and more.

    Some providers are retro specialists, who excel in designing old school games that bring to mind classic slots and table games in Las Vegas.

    Others prefer to embrace the potential of modern technology, pushing the envelope by creating complex, narrative based slots and new versions of classic games.

    There are providers that are slot specialists, roulette specialists, blackjack specialists and more.

    The same goes for live dealer games, with some providers who focus almost exclusively on live tables, and creating brand new live games that you won’t even find in a casino.

    Figuring out which kind of games are your favorite is a big step towards finding your ideal software provider.

    Branded Games and Specific Games

    To narrow it down even further, some people are in it for specific games only. For example, if you’re only interested in playing Mega Millions for its legendary progressive jackpot payouts, you’re going to need a Microgaming casino.

    There are tons of games and series of games that have developed devoted fans in their own right. Think Gonzo’s Quest from NetEnt, or Lightning Roulette from Evolution Gaming.

    Then there are branded games. If you’re a huge Game of Thrones fan you’re going to want to play Microgaming’s official slot.

    Mobile Accessibility

    In truth, the vast majority of software providers do a great job of this these days. Mobile gaming has grown massively over the last decade or more, and practically every new game that is released is designed to be fully mobile accessible, whether you’re playing via app or browser.

    Security, Licensing and Availability

    It’s always a good sign when you visit a software provider’s site and find gaming licenses, information about how the games are tested and even awards. The more third-party input and endorsement the better.

    Similarly, some providers are not available in certain countries – like Microgaming in the US for example.

    This is something to be aware of.

    Microgaming

    Microgaming LogoMicrogaming is based in the Isle of Man and has genuinely been at the forefront of the online casino industry since it was founded in 1994. It has created some of the best loved games of all time, including Stardust and Thunderstruck, and in Mega Moolah it created the most iconic progressive jackpot slot ever.

    Microgaming has been at the heart of many of the most important moments in online casino history. The company was a founding member of eCOGRA, now regarded as the foremost testing body for games. Mega Moolah has broken the record for the highest payout on multiple occasions. Branded slots were an early focus for Microgaming.

    Despite its world-wide popularity, Microgaming games are currently not available in the US since 2006.

    In more recent years, the company has created an entire in-house menu of live dealer games.

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    NetEnt

    Netent LogoNetEnt was formed a couple of years after Microgaming, but quickly ascended to similar heights in the industry. The company was founded in Sweden and has a gaming licence from the Malta Gaming Authority. NetEnt has gained a reputation for producing some of the most forward thinking slots and other games in the industry.

    NetEnt has had a turbulent period of expansion. As it grew into one of the biggest casino companies in the world, NetEnt began to buy up the competition – including exciting design studios like Red Tiger Gaming. This culminated in 2020, when NetEnt merged with Evolution Gaming to create one of the most formidable gaming menus in the world.

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    Evolution Gaming

    Evolution Gaming LogoUnlike Microgaming and NetEnt, both of which design titles across the spectrum of casino games, Evolution Gaming has focused on live dealer games from its inception.

    The narrower focus allowed Evolution to take up a significant market share, as its live dealer platform arguably became more sophisticated much more quickly than its competitors.

    The company was founded in Riga, Latvia where today it maintains a state of the art studio complex to film live casino games. Similar spaces have been opened in Malta and Pennsylvania among other locations.

    Evolution’s gaming options are very high quality, with a diverse menu of games that goes above and beyond the average live dealer offerings.

    Evolution officially completed a $2.1 billion takeover of NetEnt in late 2020. Evolution’s live dealer platform is expected to effectively replace NetEnt’s previous in-house platform, while NetEnt’s huge menu of slots and virtual table games will continue under the new umbrella.

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    Play With the Best Software

    There are other great software providers out there, including the likes of Playtech, Realtime Gaming, BetSoft and more. If you end up choosing an online casino powered by any of these providers, you won’t be disappointed.

    However, if live dealer games are your thing there is a clear winner.

    Evolution Gaming has arguably been the leading live provider for a long time now, and its merger with NetEnt is only likely to give the company even more scope to improve and innovate.

    To find the best places to play Evolution Gaming live dealer games today, check out our list of recommended sites. We’ve got loads of info in our reviews and if you sign up via our links, we’ll even help you get set up with a welcome bonus.

    FAQs

    What is a Casino Software Provider?

    A casino software provider is the company that designs and supplies the games and thegaming software for online casinos.

    Which is the Best Live Dealer Software Provider?

    Evolution Gaming is widely recognised as one of the best live dealer providers around. Microgaming, NetEnt and Real Time Gaming are other popular casino software providers.

    Do Casino Software Providers Make Free Games?

    It is sometimes the case that casino games have a free play option or a demo mode, but this is rarely the case with live dealer games. You can always watch a live table for free however.

    Are Casino Software Providers Safe and Secure?

    The top software providers, like Evolution Gaming, have received licenses from international gambling commissions. Their games are also independently regulated for fairness, by companies like eCogra testing labs.

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    Tipanis Shudraka Tipanis Shudraka

    Online gambling enthusiast & player for 10 years. I analyze live casinos according to their security, license and game selections. I love casino table games like blackjack, roulette and poker. Sharing my own game experiences here in Betspin.