With amazing graphics, smooth animation and rich sound effects, online gambling software has certainly come a long way. Nowadays, gamblers anywhere can access the full suite of experiences offered by live casinos from the comfort of their homes or on the move.
While it all started with a single casino platform created by Microgaming in 1994, other developers have also sat at the table to create new and innovative online casino software over the years. The top casino software providers have helped the gambling industry grow at an incredible rate; recent forecasts expect it to reach a value of almost $570 billion by 2022.
Therefore, let’s look at some of the best online casino software, what it offers, and why it’s essential to the global gambling sector. We pulled the slot handle, and this is what came up.
Major Casino Software Providers
Founded in Tartu, Estonia in 1999, Playtech started off ambitiously as an undertaking among entrepreneurs from the casino, multimedia and software engineering sectors. Since the launch of their first casino software in 2001, Playtech has positioned itself as the foremost designer, developer and provider of casino software, as well as various types of sports betting and bingo and scratch games.
Gamblers can peruse a large variety of Playtech games both on the web and on both mobile platforms. In addition to the different Playtech slots and card games, the company also offers spectacular live dealer plays for that invaluable immersive experience. The firm’s current strategy and vision aim to provide the best gaming products and services across all software platforms and allow players anywhere to enjoy all types of games of chance.
The company headquarters are located in Douglas on the Isle of Man, but it has offices in 24 countries with around 1,600 employees. Furthermore, their presence is global: 170 licenses in 30 regulated jurisdictions. Playtech’s success is justified considering that its entire portfolio is accessible across all platforms with a single account.
As for the adoption rate of their gaming portfolio, the best Playtech slots is the Age of the Gods series. Other well-known Playtech games include:
- Around the World in 80 Plays
- Big Bad Wolf
- Golden Sands
- Second Strike
- Tiki Paradise
- Man of Steel
- Jackpot Giant
- Captain’s Treasure
- Great Blue
Note that the Playtech and casinos collaboration in the UK goes strong with partners such as bet365, Ladbrokes, and William Hill—some of the world’s biggest online gaming companies.
Next up on our list is Microgaming—the company that was founded and developed the first-ever online casino software back in 1994. Only ten years later, it was also the pioneer in creating the first mobile casino software. At present, Microgaming works with casinos everywhere, living up to its reputation as one of the world’s most innovative providers of casino software.
Like Playtech, Microgaming is situated on the Isle of Man in an ultra-modern building that reflects the company’s dedication to continuously modernise and improve the newest Microgaming casinos software. Right now, it offers a plethora of epic games, including various Microgaming slots such as Book of Oz, 9 Masks of Fire, and Immortal Romance. However, the company’s portfolio also includes branded titles such as Jurassic World, Lara Croft and Game of Thrones games.
The Microgaming group develops online casino software that surpasses platforms, which means you can play its games on both mobile and desktop devices with one set of credentials. Starting in 2016, the firm has also offered various Virtual Reality games. Just imagine, you put on your VR headset, sit on your couch, and find yourself “in front of” a real roulette table.
Did you know that Microgaming has also established the largest progressive jackpot network on the planet? As of now, it has paid out over €1.2 billion, the company claims. A few lucky winners have also won fortunes. For example, a British soldier won the equivalent of €17,879,645 on 6 October 2015, setting the Guinness world record for the biggest online casino payment by that date.
Some of the most popular Microgaming supplied casinos in the UK include bet365, BetClick, and William Hill.
Albeit relatively new to the online gambling industry, iSoftBet has established itself as one of the most prominent online casino software providers since its inception in 2010. Headquartered in London (with offices in Luxembourg), the firm offers more than 150 proprietary slots and other types of table games in a multitude of different themes to suit anyone.
In addition to its iSoftBet casino content, the firm curates a massive collection of over 8,000 third-party titles via their Game Aggregation Platform. To clarify, GAP provides quick and direct integration to over 70 of the top iGaming developers, such as Pariplay, Ainsworth and EGT Interactive. By utilizing the GAP services, the world’s leading casino operators can access any regulated market promptly and efficiently.
To deliver casino games software across the globe and replicate the excitement of live gaming, the company aims to create graphically stunning games that deeply engage players across all demographics and platforms. Their portfolio also includes several branded slots such as Rango, Basic Instinct and Paranormal Activity. The more recognisable branded names aside, some of the most popular iSoftBet slots are as follows:
- Shaolin Spin
- Forest Mania
Look for iSoftBet games at casinos such as BetChain, GetSlots, Zet, and others.
NetEnt (Net Entertainment)
NetEnt, known as Net Entertainment before 2015, is an iGaming development company founded in 1996. While situated in Stockholm, Sweden, the firm has offices worldwide and employs more than 700 employees. Throughout its twenty-plus years of existence, NetEnt has collected a wealth of experience in online gambling software development.
The company currently supplies a varied portfolio of thrilling titles to many prominent iGaming operators across the world. Expressed in numbers, NetEnt’s success encompasses over 200 active clients, 200 exciting games and more than 58 billion gaming transactions in 2019 only—that’s 16 times the number of transactions executed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Relying on their profound expertise in creating casino games software, NetEnt has provided its clients with plenty of hits. For example, you may have stumbled upon Starburst—one of the most played Net Entertainment slots, and perhaps the world’s most popular slot game, for that matter. Other famous games developed by NetEnt include Dazzle Me, Eggomatic, Arabian Nights, Dead or Alive, and Gonzo’s Quest.
Among other things, NetEnt has its own casino where you can play all of its games, some of which even offer up to 60 free spins without a deposit. They also provide a multitude of monthly offers that help you save a few pounds whilst having fun.
Net Entertainment provides to casinos such as 888, Zet, Jet, and many more.
We continue our catalogue with Evolution—one of the most influential online and live casino software providers in the industry and NetEnt’s parent company after a 2020 acquisition. Since Evolution’s founding in Sweden in 2006, it has positioned itself as the preeminent supplier of video-streamed live casino games.
Envisioned to offer the same gambling adventures found in brick-and-mortar casinos, like those in Monte Carlo, Evolution is continually improving its state-of-the-art and lifelike casino experience. Nowadays, almost 10,000 employees across 14 global locations help deliver the company’s true-to-life gambling thrills to players all over the world. Moreover, Evolution’s code runs non stop through more than 300 international operators, handling innumerable financial transactions each second.
In addition to its live casino games and live game shows, Evolution gaming offers slots as well. Recently, they even created the world-first 3D casino games (everything from roulette and baccarat to blackjack and poker). These realistically rendered and animated games allow you to place your bet in an immersive first-person virtual environment before pressing the ‘Go Live’ button, which transports you to your live-streamed table.
Since 2010, the Evolution live gaming casinos have been helping the company win the Live Casino Supplier of the Year award for 11 consecutive years.
Founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1998, RealTime Gaming develops casino software for operators across the globe, who can then implement RTG’s software as downloadable apps through their websites. After Hastings International (from Curaçao) acquired the company in 2007, it transferred RTG’s development to Heredia, Costa Rica.
RealTime Gaming provides casino software solutions for multiple channels and platforms, including sportsbooks, mobile, kiosks, instant play, downloadable apps, and more. The company’s offering includes hundreds of fantastic and varied casino games, and operators can obtain anything from slots to table and card games for both desktop and mobile. RTG’s product range also includes Live Dealer games, tournaments, and progressive jackpots.
Some RTG-powered casinos even pool their progressive jackpots, the largest of which are the Jackpot Piñata and Aztec’s Millions. However, these are not as popular as jackpot games designed by Playtech or Microgaming due to their low win rate. In addition, their slow rate of increase suggests a dwindling player base.
Nevertheless, RealTime Gaming is one of the online casino software providers that has started capturing gamblers’ attention worldwide with cabinet-based video slots. This new form of slots includes features such as Jackpot Pyramid, Suit ’Em Up, Vegas Three Card Rummy, and Boiling Point Jackpot. Additionally, the most popular of these games have also been treated with a mobile version and can be played instantly or downloaded locally.
Some of the most played RealTime Gaming slots include:
- The Big Bopper
- Aladdin’s Wishes
- Caesar’s Empire
- Builder Beaver
- Cash Bandits and more
If you are looking for RealTime Gaming casinos available to UK citizens, your choice is plentiful. You can try Silver Oak, Win Palace, Captain Jack, and many others.
Before WMS Gaming became one of the best online casino software providers, it progressed through various structural changes over the decades. The company’s first iteration was making arcade and pinball machines for several decades before entering the gambling industry with its first slot machine in 1994.
After 15 years of creating various slot and poker machines (both video and reel slots), including a very successful line of monopoly-themed participation slots, the firm started providing online casinos with their WMS slots in 2010. Since then, Williams Gaming has developed and offered various online and mobile (beginning in 2012) games to some of the world’s top online internet casinos.
The company is currently stationed in Chicago, Illinois as part of Scientific Games Corporation (headquartered in Las Vegas); SG acquired WMS Gaming after the latter launched a successful Facebook casino game and signed multi-year agreements with Betsson and Unibet—two very prominent online casinos. At that moment, more than 12 million players had access to several premium WMS gaming slots: Zeus, Reel ‘Em In, and Jackpot Party.
Some of the games that can be found at online WMS gaming casinos include, but are not limited to Black Knight, The Wizard of Oz, Star Trek, Crystal Forest, and more. Additionally, you can find WMS games at casinos such as Magic Red, Karamba, 21 Casino, and others.
The last name on our list of the top casino software developers is Novomatic—a massive international gambling company with around 22,000 employees working in more than 50 countries across the world. Founded in 1980 in Austria, the company focused on making high-tech gaming machines (one of the pioneers in touch-screen technology) before expanding into the eGaming casino business in 2010 by buying into the London-based Greentube studio.
Presently, Novomatic operates in all segments of the casino gaming industry. In addition to their innovative land-based products, they offer a varied selection of online casino software, including mobile titles and lottery and sports betting games. Moreover, Novomatic operates casinos in several locations, such as Santiago, Chile and Berlin, Germany. Also, their products generated a massive revenue of €1.7 billion in around 1,900 gaming facilities worldwide in 2020.
Similar to WMS, while this company manufactures various gaming machines, it also tasks Greentube to publish online versions of its already established portfolio of over 300 Novomatic slots. Some of the firm’s most popular slot games include:
- Dancing Lantern
- Samurai Beauty
- Flames of Glory
- Amazon’s Diamonds
- Apollo God of the Sun
- Goddess Rising
- Pharaoh’s Ring
Apart from their own casinos, Novomatic games can also be found at NetBet, 21 Casino, and BuddySlots.
Other Casino Software Developers
Over 1500 gambling software providers operate worldwide as of 2021. Naturally, our list of casino software providers only focused on the industry leaders. However, other online casino providers are also paving their way to the top, such as:
- NextGen Gaming
- International Gaming Technology
- The Stars Group
- Bally Technologies
- Big Time Gaming
- Play ‘N Go
Types of Casino Software
When it comes to online gambling software, iGaming developers create titles in four main types of software categories: mobile, downloadable, instant-play, and live casino software. Most games today come with support for each type, as well as cross-platform compatibility. Meaning, you can play them on any platform without any difficulties adjusting and with a single set of credentials. Some games can also be started on one platform, paused, and resumed on another platform. Let’s take a closer look at each of these software types.
The top internet casinos offer their selection of games as downloadable casino gaming software, which generally requires a Windows machine to be installed; however, a limited number of casinos also offer a macOS version. While this software has existed for a long time before the onset of the pandemic, it has become essential nowadays in a world of lockdowns, limited movement and reinforced health safety precautions. To enjoy your couch casino gaming, you simply have to navigate the website of your preferred online casino, download and install the software, and log in with your user name and password.
To cater to the needs of today’s ever-moving gambler, casino software developers have invested heavily in the development of mobile casino apps in the last decade. These software packages are typically designed for both Android and iOS, and they offer the same feature set as their web-based counterparts. So if you would like to play your favourite casino games on the move, you can always find a casino that has adapted most of its portfolio for mobile to play at any place or time of the day straight from your phone or tablet.
This is probably the best type of online casino software in terms of convenience since it allows gamblers to play their chosen casino games directly through a website. Most internet gambling dens provide this instant-play option by default, and it can be accessed on both desktop and mobile, thus wholly avoiding downloads. However, the downside of instant-play games is that they do not offer as immersive or high-resolution experience as downloadable software.
Live Casino Software
The online gambling software that rises in popularity each day is the live dealer casino experience. Offered by the biggest iGaming providers, such as NetEnt, Playtech and Microgaming, this form of casino gambling entertainment is video-streamed in real-time to avid gamblers across the globe. Players can interact with real dealers working on actual tables in state-of-the-art casino studios. The most common live casino games on offer include various table and card games like Poker, Blackjack, and Baccarat.
Today, most online casinos use casino software providers that offer games across different platforms to capture the attention of a varied player base. Players also value the convenience to gamble on any device and at any time, be it on a tablet from the couch, or on a mobile phone while waiting for a bus. That means, if you choose one of the more prominent online casinos, you can expect to see the same game in various forms: mobile, desktop, and as an instant-play version.
How Does Online Casino Software Work?
The most challenging task that casino software providers have to complete is convincing gamblers that their games are entirely fair. You’ve probably heard other players discussing a game that was “rigged” by certain casinos and thus unwinnable. However, the fairness of casino gaming software has been ensured with random number generators (RNG); once programmed, RNGs produce a completely arbitrary string of numbers/symbols with no detectable pattern.
Additionally, casinos that utilise online casino software typically offer slightly higher odds and payback percentages than brick-and-mortar gambling dens. New players are also enticed to join these casino venues with various sign-up bonuses; however, most operators reduce their initial loss by preventing gamblers from utilising these bonuses in risk-free games.
To be clear, internet casinos still have the house edge, and therefore, players cannot beat the system and make a steady profit. Your chances of winning a hand of poker, blackjack, or any other bet are the same as they would be in a physical casino venue. Meaning, casino dens will always accumulate significant profits in the long run, making any fraudulent behaviour unnecessary.
Nevertheless, some casino gaming software operators have been branded rogue due to fraudulent actions against their player base. Various player advocacy sites are maintaining lists of online casinos that have refused to pay out legitimate winnings. While no regulating agencies maintain these casino blacklists, the opinion of the online player community still carries significant weight, and novice gamblers should always avoid such operators.
How Do We Pick the Best Casino Software?
Now that we’ve covered the basics and listed the top casino software providers in the world, we’ll go over the criteria used to compile our best-of list. From licencing to interface themes, here’s everything you need to know about what makes the best online casino software.
Market Presence and Reputation
Market tradition doesn’t necessarily deem certain companies better than other, younger ones. Yet, when it comes to the gambling industry, “older” companies that have proven they can deliver superior casino software solutions over and over again are generally more trustworthy. So before choosing a casino operator, review the experience of its iGaming suppliers to ensure you’ll be playing games developed by well-established casino software providers.
All credible casino software developers and suppliers must obtain and hold the necessary licenses to distribute their gaming titles in their target jurisdictions. For example, online casino providers who would like to conduct their business in the UK must abide by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) regulations. On the other hand, casinos that operate on the territory of Malta will require the corresponding licenses from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Since these gambling regulations aim to protect the rights of all players and ensure the fairness of the games, new gamblers should choose a casino that offers properly regulated software.
Technical Background and Safety of Software
To fully enjoy your favourite games, naturally, they need to be functional and safe to use. Therefore, you should consider the technical aspects of your chosen casino gaming software as well. Given that iGaming titles have evolved substantially in the past few decades, most companies are doing a great job providing quality and secure software nowadays. However, you should definitely check out the users’ feedback and experience of several different online casino software developers when choosing a game to play.
Return to Player is a term used by casino operators to show what percentage of the original investment online casino software return to players in the long run. For example, games with a 90% RTP that receive hundred £1 bets will eventually pay out £90 in winnings. Therefore, if you hear that the house has a 10% advantage, its games feature a 90% RTP, and it will retain around 10% of all bets. Remember though, no game features a 100% RTP, but some titles may come close.
Note that anyone can experience a 100% or a much higher return in the short term due to the volatility of casino games. However, this lucky occurrence does not factor in the final RTP calculations, and you should not be convinced to play a game after hearing it has paid out a huge jackpot to a few fortunate winners. Instead, the proper strategy should involve playing ‘loose’ games with high RTP to ensure a higher return on your wagers over time.
The volatility of casino games software refers to the payout risk programmed in slots or other similar types of games. Highly volatile games can experience long winless spells, but when you win there, you win big. An example of such games is massive progressive jackpots, which are won by a few patient and lucky gamblers on rare occasions. On the other hand, low-volatility games payout modest yet regular amounts—suitable to those with a tighter budget who do not like spending hours on end sifting through empty spins. Understanding volatility can help you choose better slots, increase your chance of winning and avoid significant losses.
Platform and Games Availability
You might stumble upon an amazing online gambling software, only to realise that it’s not available in your region or for your platform. Since casinos lose customers in such cases, they strive to offer their games across different channels and markets. The most popular iGaming operators offer online casino software that crosses all platforms and is available in many jurisdictions. These prominent casino venues also aim to include all the games’ features regardless of the form in which they come. That way, you will have access to all the software features, not only in the instant-play version but also in the mobile app and the downloadable desktop application.
Payment Methods and Security
The best casino software operators out there provide varied and secure methods to deposit funds and withdraw your winnings. This information is crucial in choosing an online casino, and it can generally be found in a separate section of the respective website or hidden in the operator’s Terms and Conditions.
Most casinos offer multiple options to deposit money, such as via various payment cards, eChecks, bank transfers, and e-wallets. Some operators are now accepting cryptocurrencies as well. However, you may be prohibited to withdraw your money with the same methods. For this reason, you should review all your cash-out options and choose one that is convenient and secure under your circumstances.
Theme and Sound
Customers who are genuinely entertained when playing any online gambling software tend to return for another spin or card deal. Towards that goal, developers employ vivid and immersive sounds, graphics, and animation. The most popular internet casino games combine quality themes and sound effects that prompt actions without overwhelming players. In addition to these audio-visual stimulations, great looking games should also feature a user-friendly interface that enables customers to navigate the app easily.
Online casino software has been evolving at a sure and steady pace in the past two decades. We’ve certainly seen some notable improvements from the first casino software—created in 1994—to the contemporary, state-of-the-art games played today. New players are often amazed by the genuine immersion that first-person, virtual reality and live casino games offer. You feel some of the glamour and excitement of being in an actual venue despite sitting on your couch; real dealers will interact with you, flipping real cards, and thus making you a lucky winner or an unfortunate loser. We can only guess what the future will bring, but given the exponential growth of the gambling industry, the top casino software providers we’ve outlined for you will surely be part of it!
Can I play casino software for free and for real money?
Casino software today delivers a very similar experience as the one you get in land-based casino venues. Meaning, you can play the same games from anywhere and anytime, and with real money too. In addition, some casino operators may also include the option to try out their games for free. That way, you’ll see if you like the animation, the gameplay, and your chances of winning before committing your time and money.
Can I play casino games on my mobile or tablet?
Yes, most casino games can be played on many different devices and platforms. For instance, you can use the same game from your home PC, or while waiting in a line on your phone. Except for some minor differences in the user interface between different platforms, you’ll typically get the same playing experience. Moreover, online casinos provide the same service and support across devices.
Is online casino software fair?
The answer is: yes. Reputable and trustworthy casinos, which have obtained all the necessary licenses, use true random number generators for their games without manipulating their outcome. Your chances of winning rely on the laws of probability, and in the short term, your luck determines if you’ll cash out more than you cashed in—just like in a real casino. These operators are also required to carry out regular testing of their RNGs and submit a report to the corresponding governing body.
What are random number generators?
In essence, random number generators (RNGs) are computer programs that produce an indeterminable sequence of numbers/symbols. The RNGs used by casinos are pseudo RNGs that only require the proper algorithm and a seed number.
Which is the best casino software provider?
Our list of top casino software providers includes some of the best iGaming developers in the industry. Some names might top the list more than others, depending on the needs and wants of the players themselves. For instance, gamblers that enjoy the live casino experience, generally go with Evolution since the company strives to offer the best video-streamed casino games on the market. Our advice is to carefully consider the casino gaming software features outlined above and search for one that excels in the categories that matter to you.