What is a Casino Software Provider?
Casino games (mostly slots) used to be mechanical, where physical reels and clogs served as a rudimentary software. Because of it, these games (mostly slots) were rather primitive in terms of gameplay (only 3 reels x 3 rows most of the time) since you can not implement all whistles and bells, which modern games definitely have, with a stone-age technology.
Everything had changed once computers had become powerful enough to create sophisticated graphics, and the internet, on its part, had facilitated its spread around the world.
So to say, casino software providers are exactly the companies which create modern casino games using program code and provide their services to casino players via online casinos or their land-based counterparts. Also, software providers, in my humble opinion, are the only reason the online casino boom has happened.
With that being said, let’s discuss in details:
Why software providers not only crucial for the industry, but also super cool for players
How to distinguish a good software provider as the market is flooded with them (including fairness)
Types of software providers along with some other questions you may ask
Casino Software Providers are truly the backbone of the online gambling industry
As you can see, casinos (both online and land-based) do not produce casino games of their own (99.99% of the time). Why? Because:
It is a labour-consuming process to make high quality casino games at scale. Even the top-notch software providers, which have been on the market for decades and have plenty of people in staff, have managed to produce maybe 500 games at best (for example, well-known Microgaming). Needless to say that small-operating companies (the majority of casinos actually are) could manage to make maybe a few games, which is definitely not enough to satisfy players’ demand.
It would be a challenge in terms of marketing to promote a small portfolio of, let’s say, 5 games.
It would be hard to gain people’s trust to even consider to play in unknown games of an unknown producer.
So, as you may have guessed, the industry has come up with a much more elegant solution. Namely, casino software producers rent out casino games to casinos for a share of profit. With such an approach everybody is happy. Casino players have access to the huge variety of high quality and fair games, casinos are focused mainly on services (verification, deposits/withdrawals, promotions, support team, etc.) and software providers make money B2B.
Hence, everybody does their job. Think of it as division of labour, which for sure makes the industry much more effective since each group of professionals is focused solely on its own narrow field.
The last thing to say here, whenever you play in licensed casino games you are actually being served from exactly software providers’ web servers, not casinos’, though a particular casino’s website is used as a medium (they redirect you to providers’ servers automatically that’s why not everybody knows about it).
Advantages of having software providers as an intermediary
Everything comes down to the fact that final customers (casino players) are getting much higher quality products, when professionals are in charge of creating games, which includes:
Progressive jackpots become possible, because now you can get so many players involved.
Third-party companies perform fairness tests on the regular basis making software providers much more trustworthy in comparison to casinos.
Much higher quality of the products since top designers and programmers are in charge. For example, Rabcat software provider work with Disney Interactive Studios, Microsoft Studious, Atari and Rockstar Games.
Much more variety of the games becomes possible as casino players can play in many casino games produced by many software developers in one place (a particular casino).
What about their fairness
Software providers must ensure that winnings in their games are distributed randomly and nobody can predict or affect the results. RNG (Random Number Generator) comes very handy and each legit software provider implements it in its games.
After that, Fairness testing companies verify that RNG works exactly as it should be, so that players do not get cheated.
On top of that, the majority of software providers are also licensed by some Gambling commissions (this is a requirement to operate legally in their territories). As a result, almost each top software provider is licensed by such super strict gambling jurisdictions as, for example: UK, Isle of Man, Alderney.
Types of software producers
Depending on criterion, software providers can be divided into these groups.
Instant play or not:
Downloading of some desktop programs is required. It is pretty much a legacy technology nowadays since user experience really sucks in this case.
Instant play from the web browser. It is much more convenient for players and this is the gold standard of the industry.
Some casinos actually do the software of their own:
Casino’s exclusive (also called proprietary) software.
Network software (99.99% of casinos resort to network solutions).
Can you play on mobile devices:
Mobile compatible (HTML5 technology makes it possible)
Not mobile compatible (only old games, though some of them have been renovated and become mobile compatible)
In terms what games they produce:
Live games with live dealers are also made by software providers.
How to tell apart bad from good software provider
Criteria to keep an eye on while choosing a software provider:
Fairness of RNG. I guess it is needless to further elaborate on this claim.
Games variety is definitely a cool thing to have.
Average RTP should be 96-97%. Some software providers set it at lower levels, which is not good for players, obviously.
Sound and graphics should be nice looking, especially if we are talking about newer games (some software providers still make games as if we were in 2000s)
No outdated technologies are used (for example, Flash player, Why flash player is not safe?)
How not to get lost in software providers variety while playing in an online casino
Online casinos usually have a special section so that players can easily navigate (often on the top of the website). Simply click on a provider you wish to play in, and that’s it as the website is going to do the legwork.
Some other questions you may ask
How many software providers you can usually meet in an online casino? A decent online casino can usually boast with 20-40 software providers on the platform, which results in 2,000+ games in overall.
Why do online casinos have very similar game portfolios? As I have explained earlier, it happens, because online casinos rent casino games from the same merchants (everybody wants to have on the casino’s website only the best game producers, that’s why game selection is often similar)
Does it matter in which online casino to play in the same software? No, until it is not fake (How to detect fake casino software?). Hence, you can expect exactly the same probability to win or lose and RTP, no matter what particular casino you are playing in, though I get that it could seem otherwise during long win or lose-streaks.
How many software providers are on the market overall? I would say there are around 100 well-known and reputable providers, around 100 tier 2 providers and hundreds of smaller venues, about which nobody actually knows.
What games do they produce? Video slots first of all (more than 10,000 of them are currently on the market), along with classic games such as: Roulette, Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Video Poker, Scratch Cards, Keno, Bingo, Pai Gow, Sic Bo. So, I would say, it is easier to name what they do not produce.
Do software providers similar in terms of RTP? No, they can be very different when it comes to such a crucial parameter. I would suggest looking for at least 96%+ games (97%+ is even better), there are many of them on the market, so do not grab the first thing you found.
Do online casinos with the same software the same as well? Absolutely not! Therefore, the same software provider can be found on a reliable casino’s platform and on some semi-scam casino’s website at the same time. That’s why it is super critical to choose online casinos very carefully.
Do land-based casinos use software? Yes, there can be hundreds of slots in offline casinos, which are powered by the same game developers as online casinos do.
Hopefully you have learned something throughout the article. Though I would recommend trying out different software providers by yourself to decide which one you like more. The only one precaution, as I have mentioned earlier, is that RTP can vary significantly, so at least make sure you grab a decent one from this perspective. Other than that, it is mostly a matter of your personal preferences (which betting mechanics, animation, bonus features, number of paylines, etc. you prefer). And of course, do not fall for fake casino software, and you will be fine with any of them.
Check out other Software articles: