The online casino industry has been in existence since the mid-1990s, and has been growing ever since. Along the way, we have seen several changes in the industry, from new delivery methods, to new products, to regulatory changes. One thing has remained constant, however; there would be no industry if it weren’t for all the software companies that built games. Below are some of the most popular providers currently in the market:
- Pragmatic Play
- Rival Gaming
- Merkur Gaming
- Play N Go
Now, the online casino software space is very crowded to say the least. There are dozens of software companies out there providing everything from individual games to fully managed casinos. It is very easy to get lost while trying to determine what game belong to what company. Also, with companies merging, changing names and closing, it is damn near impossible to stay on top of the game.
That is why we built this site. Our team of experts not only reviews all of the casinos we can find to make sure you have all the information you need to make your choice of where to play, but we also take a detailed look at each provider so you can learn a little about their history of providing games.
So, what should you be looking for when you are selecting an online casino? Well, you are looking for very different things when it comes to researching the operator versus the developer. We have summarized some of the criteria we look at ourselves, and we want to share that with you on this page.
How Long Has The Company Been In Business?
Well, let’s start with the facts: if a software company says they have been in business since before 1995, they are probably lying. In fact, there is only one company that claims to have had an online casino live since that time. The first wave of casino developers started to show up on the scene right around the time that Internet connections became commonplace in peoples’ homes – around 1997. Can you imagine having to use a dial-up internet connection to play the games you see today? That would be painful to say the least.
As the industry grew, so did the number of vendors in the space. Over the next decade, it seemed like every month there was a new software developer advertising their casino games. All of this made for a very cluttered space – after all, there weren’t that many casino game titles in the first place, so how many versions of online Blackjack did we need?
When you are looking for a software provider to try, you don’t always have to pick the ones that have been building games for the longest period of time. In fact, many companies that have launched in the last few years are building excellent quality games as well. Many times, a new company will form with founders who have come from incumbents. Typically, a small group of developers and business minds will find a hole in the market and create a company focused on that niche. You will see in our softyware reviews that this can be a very lucrative venture, with many of these niche companies being swallowed up by their former parent organizations.
The way that we consume our online casino games has always been tied to the available technology. As we mentioned, the industry started all the way back in the mid-1990s. If you can think back that far, you were probably going on AOL using your tan-colored PC. In the early dasy of the online casino business, if you wanted to play your favorite game from home, you needed to download a huge piece of software to your machine. Well, we say you needed to download it; in fact, most casinos sent you a CD in the mail (yes, the mail) which housed the bulk of the games. It would have taken days to pull all that code down on a dialup connection.
Download casinos were all the rage in the space until the early 2000s, when a new programming language came to be. As the Internet was becoming more popular, a more dynamic page was required, and with the introduction of Java, the casino industry found a whole new delivery method. Now, you didn’t need to have the software downloaded on your machine locally, as you could go to the casino operator’s website and play directly in your browser. It took a while for Java-based casinos to take hold; the early years found slow connections and buggy software.
Java made way for Flash later in the 200s, and this seemed to really help the instant play casino games. Software companies scrambled to convert their games to Flash to also capitalize on the newest delivery method – mobile. These days, most people access their information using their phones or tablets, so you want to see a software company that has a full suite of games that are mobile-friendly. This was no easy task for developers – converting a game from a standard set of PC or laptop screen sizes to a myriad of different devices was a tall order. Throw in the fact that Apple didn’t allow their developers to use Flash, and most software companies were drowning in new development.
So, when you look at a software company, have a look to see if they have been through this whole cycle of delivery methods. Newer companies may have skipped past the downloadable client, which is also fine. However, you want to make sure that the developer responsible for the games you want to play has their games ready for mobile use.
The most common question we are asked about online casinos is definitely “How do I know the casinos aren’t rigged?” The answer is simple: a reputable casino software provider wouldn’t risk losing all their business by providing rigged games, so it goes above and beyond to have their software audited and tested.
First off, all the casino games run off a Random Number Generator. This piece of software can be tested to ensure that everything is in fact random, and there are several companies like TST and Gaming Associates who have made a business out of this testing. Further testing of the games themselves to confirm they play according to the agreed rules is also completed, and software companies are only too happy to display the certifications on their sites.
So, you would be looking for companies that have at least one seal of approval from a trusted third-party auditing firm. That should put your mind at ease.
These are only three of the factors that go into our reviews of online casino software companies. Of course, there are other factors (management team, library of games, etc) but you will see a lot of that information when you read our casino reviews.
The list of online casino software providers is a long one, and we continue to add reviews of each to our site. Hopefully you will find some of this information useful when on your online gambling journey!