Think of online casinos as a car in a garage. Even the fastest supercar being all shiny and irresistible requires gas to run. In the case of the casinos, the gasoline is represented by the software. In a gas station, you need to pay to have access to the product to make your car run. In a casino, you need to frequently “reload” with funds to not “run out of gas” meaning being unable to play the games. Gas stations and their owners don’t operate their businesses the same way. Thus not everyone is successful. You could find top quality gasoline, but you could also find impured gas that wouldn’t last long and make you waste your money. The same goes for the different games in the casinos. There are casinos with the best online casino software around and providers with games you would rather avoid.
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Note: The table above lists all casino software followed by a guide on everything you need to know about each one. Right next to that you can see whether that provider is available in RNG or live casino. And of course, in the “Best Casino” column you can find our recommended casino which offers that specific software.
Which are the best online casino software providers?
First of all, we need to divide the software providers into two categories: the RNG games providers and the Live Casino games providers. Some companies operate in both departments, but it’s good to know that we are talking about two separate things. Let’s see which are the best online casino software providers in each category and how their presence in an online casino is a first sign that the site is safe.
Best online casino software providers: RNG Games and Slots
When you think about online casino software, your mind would inevitably think about a Netent slot. The Swedish powerhouse was founded in Stockholm 25 years ago, and it evolved into a giant of the industry. Netent holds one-quarter of the total revenue shares of the European iGaming market and 15% of the global market. Who hasn’t heard about its popular slots, namely, Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and Dead or Alive, or its iconic progressive jackpots like Mega Fortune, Divine Fortune and Hall of Gods make Netent one of the best online software providers?
Netent doesn’t restrict its portfolio to just slots, but it has expanded to table games and Live Casino software with its associated brand, “NetEnt Live”. We are talking about the “mogul” of the online casinos, the provider that set the trends, and the rest follow suit. No wonder why another giant of the industry, Evolution Gaming, has proposed an acquisition offer of approximately €2 bn to eliminate a tough opponent from the market.
If someone can claim Netent’s crown as the best online casino software provider, that is Playtech. The London-based colossus has the most extensive gaming library in the industry, with more than 700 games. Having managed to become the undisputed number one provider in the UK, the online gaming’s stronghold, Playtech is a force you simply cannot neglect. The company realized early in its existence that the “magic word” for success would be “expansion”.
Its product range apart from slots extends to live casino table games, sports betting software, poker, bingo, scratch cards, fixed-odds arcade games, and mobile gaming solutions. With annual revenue that exceeds €1 bn, you can understand why Playtech has the resources to operate in 140 different jurisdictions, having acquired more than 20 licenses!
To be honest, Novomatic is well known for its land-based casino software, however, the Austrians are much respected in the online gaming industry, too. Via their subsidiary Greentube, Novomatic has released one of the most legendary slots of all time, Book of Ra. Founded in the early 1980s and having obtained all the leading online gambling licenses, we wouldn’t exaggerate if we called Novomatic the “father” of the gaming industry.
Apart from slots, the company expands to table games, bingo and video poker as well, but it’s not a strong competitor when it comes to progressive jackpots. Despite being an old provider with an established name, Novomatic continually strives for innovation through its four gaming platforms!
Microgaming is undoubtedly considered among the top casino software providers. The industry pioneers were founded in 1994 and became the first ones to launch online slots for a casino, namely Gaming Club Casino, which exists until today. Titles like Thunderstruck and Immortal Romance wrote history in the iGaming, while progressive jackpots such as Mega Moolah cemented the company’s name among the best online slot providers. Specifically, Mega Moolah has awarded some of the largest sums ever.
Among them is the world record €18m win which was generated in 2018! Microgaming is also the first supplier that has published gaming content for mobile devices and one of the few that has a wide range of products from slots and table games to bingo, video poker and specialty games.
Best Live Casino Software Providers
When we talk about live casino software providers, we talk about Evolution Gaming. This is the provider that rules the specific field in the last decade, and the future seems even brighter for them. Evolution Gaming started in Riga, Latvia, in 2006 and ever since, it has expanded across the globe holding local licenses for the majority of the regulated jurisdictions due to the “First in New Markets” approach they implement. You don’t get the title of the “best live casino software provider in the world” without having the gaming content to back it up, and boy, Evolution certainly has it.
A series of Live Blackjack variations like Speed Blackjack or Power Blackjack along with many Live Roulette versions like Lightning Roulette or Immersive Roulette (ideas that established Evolution as the best online roulette software provider) and a selection of entertaining “Game Shows” (Monopoly Live, Dream Catcher, Crazy Time) form the strongest live casino portfolio in the iGaming market. HD quality streaming, multilingual tables and VIP tables that tend to high roller needs, complete Evolution’s slick image. Soon, Evolution will expand to RNG fields as well. By purchasing Netent, it hopes to become the undisputed “champion” of providers.No information availableBest Live Casinos With Evolution Gaming
Being a pioneer and leader in most aspects of online gambling, Net Entertainment wouldn’t shy away from the Live dealer’s market. The Swedish masters of gaming released the brand “NetEnt Live” in 2013, and quickly dominated the market with their proprietary games posing a challenge to the main “dog,” Evolution Gaming.
NetEnt Live focuses on the most popular games meaning Live Blackjack, Live Roulette and Live Baccarat but has released other games like Keno and Live Lottery. What made the difference though, was the perfect adaptation to the mobile environment that led the charge for the rest to follow.
You cannot refer to top live casino software providers and omit Playtech. The British company is a world leader in cutting-edge Omni-channel live casino software, content and services. Playtech offers the fastest streaming in the market, with three major global studios containing hundreds of state-of-the-art cameras broadcasting in premium HD quality. The headquarters of Playtech Live is located in Riga, Latvia, where it owns the largest next generation Live Casino. The company offers tables in English, Italian, Spanish and Romanian. Some of its most well-known titles are Prestige Roulette and Unlimited Blackjack. Also, the company has launched “Grand Royale,” a wholesome live experience for VIP players.
Online casino analysts lately say that there isn’t any “real player” in the Live Casino market other than Evolution. When someone tries to make an impact, Evolution Gaming arrives and buys them out! That is what happened with Ezugi, founded in 2012 by experienced executives of the industry and made an instant impression on the players. The Curacao licensed live dealer’s provider has created 70 tables of 30 games streamed by its nine studios in locations worldwide. The company strives for innovation as it has launched exclusive titles like Unlimited 21 Blackjack – Auto-Split, Knockout Baccarat, Wheel of Dice, and Sede (Xoc Dia). Ezugi has a particular taste for the Asian market as it has released versions of games that are popular in this region, like Andar Bahar, Dragon Tiger and Teen Patti. And if that wasn’t enough, it has even created a progressive jackpot Roulette table that is guaranteed to hit daily.
Pragmatic Play Live
One of the most ambitious providers in the industry at the moment is Pragmatic Play. Founded just in 2015 made giant steps each year, and as a result, it is now considered among the very best. The company purchased the live casino product of Novomatic in 2018. Since then, it has been on “attack mode” by forming partnerships with plenty of operators, sometimes being the casino’s exclusive live dealers provider. The Malta-based company owns a state-of-the-art live casino studio in Bucharest, Romania, from where it streams in HD or even 4K quality, boasting a portfolio of 43 live games such as Live Blackjack, Speed Roulette, Live Mega Sic Bo, and Live Baccarat. Not bad for a provider that has been developing live casino software for just three years!
Up-and-coming casino providers
What we like so much about the iGaming industry is the fact that its “waters” never stay calm. The need for innovation and impressing the players drive the providers into a relentless race to present the next breakthrough. New casino providers emerge with a revolutionary formula that makes everyone turn their heads every now and then. Let’s see some examples.
Who hasn’t turned the reels of Book of Dead or one of its sequels? Rich Wilde and his friends have taken the iGaming industry by a storm and solidified the presence of Play’n GO among the most popular providers of online casinos. The provider had a slow start as it was founded back in 1997, but until 2004 they were just functioning as a subcontractor to other providers.
Play’n GO was one of the first suppliers that realized that online gaming would shift to mobile devices, and they led the charge to this transition. In 2007 Play’n GO released its first fully optimized mobile slot via the proprietary OMNY® gaming tool and platform, allowing launching games simultaneously across all devices. Almost a decade later, the big bang happened: Book of Dead became an instant hit leading to countless sequels. Players loved it, and the fact that the company became more involved with casino promotions skyrocketed its popularity.
Big Time Gaming
BTG changed its fate when they introduced the groundbreaking mechanism of Megaways™. What is a Megaways™slot? Basically, a slot which gives you up to 117,649 ways to win in a single spin with the help of a special reel modifier. In short, this means that with each spin, a different number of symbols lands on every reel, providing tens or even hundreds of thousands of ways to win.
The Megaways™mechanism became talk of the town among the players who particularly loved the Bonanza slot. The company’s breakthrough brought partnerships with flashy names of the industry like Netent or iSoftbet, who purchased Megaways™ formula and remastered some of their slots to integrate it. Big Time Gaming continues to impress by presenting new mechanisms such as Megaclusters and Megaquads, and it indeed belongs among the top new online slot providers.
Red Tiger Gaming
When you enter the industry, and in just five years, you make Netent buy you out, then surely you are doing something right. This is the story of Red Tiger Gaming which emerged in 2014 and it was purchased by Netent in 2019. The provider caught players’ attention with their exclusive bonus feature, “Smart Spins,” which personalizes each player’s bonuses. Daily Drop jackpots, innovative grid formats with 6 or 7 reels or clusters, and impeccable graphics are Red Tiger slots’ main characteristics.
The acquisition of the company by Netent brought extra benefits like the rejuvenating of some slots like Dragon’s Fire by integrating Big Time Gaming’s Megaways™ mechanism. The company has created its proprietary in-house gaming engine RTG Core and in general, it’s one of the most creative suppliers in the market. Slots are its central department but they have also launched some exciting table game ideas like Deal or No Deal Blackjack!
Mobile gaming is a deciding factor towards success
Whoever doesn’t see that the future of iGaming has shifted to mobile devices is blind. Approximately 80% of online casino players are logging via their smartphones or tablets. This means that casinos have to optimize their content to be as responsive as possible. Mobile casino providers understood that they would either keep up with the technology or be doomed to obscurity.
The mobile approach is proving to be crucial when it comes to evaluating providers. It’s not by coincidence that providers that took playing on the go seriously have managed to be among the top today. For example, Netent introduced “Netent Touch.” At the beginning of the previous decade, touch screens and smartphones invaded the market, so Netent realized that iGaming needed revamping if it was ever going to work.
Netent Touch games showed the way to the others by implementing HTML5 code instead of the obsolete Flash. The Swedish company responded adequately to mobile gaming’s challenge by maintaining top user experience quality as the gameplay adjusted to fit the smaller touch screens. Providers like Playtech, Play’n GO, Red Tiger, Betsoft, Yggdrasil and others followed through, and today mobile gaming has become the king of online gambling.
How to evaluate software providers for online casinos?
Providers, providers, providers everywhere. It seems that every week a new studio launches. With all these providers around, how easy is it to decide who is worth your money and time? Maybe starting a gaming studio isn’t that tough, but dominating and actually making a name is pretty tricky in this competitive industry. The companies that are sitting comfortably in the driver’s seat are succeeding in the following:
- Number and variety of games, consistent production
iGaming studios need to combine these elements if they want to be among the best gambling software providers. Sure, it may happen to launch a major hit, but you will need consistency to build upon this accomplishment. An extensive portfolio is necessary if the provider wants to meet the continually rising demands of the audience. Besides, variety in games, themes and features is desired as players get easily bored. A provider that doesn’t limit its library just to slots is more likely to be flourishing. Also, a provider has to engage players as often as possible; that’s why many implement the “One game, every week” policy.
- RTPs, Fairness and Security
RTP, this “magic” term that players google all the time. Return to Player percentage is considered essential to players as they can “calculate” how much they can expect to win on a specific game. It goes without saying that the most sought after games are the ones with high RTPs. Providers may declare the numbers, but to be sure, you need to check if the games are audited. Transparent providers are certified by independent audit teams like eCogra, iTechLabs, Gaming Laboratories International, etc., which can guarantee that the games are safe to play and not rigged. Like casinos, providers also have to be licensed to enter specific jurisdictions, so you can visit each company’s website to confirm which licenses they have obtained.
- Mobile & Tablet Compatibility
Like we said earlier, mobile gaming is the future of online gambling. A provider who wants to stay relevant in the future would have to focus on making their mobile product as responsive as it gets. Special mobile features, suitable gameplay, even exclusively mobile slots are things that can make the difference.
Quality visual graphics and sounds always make a good impression. Sure your ultimate goal is to win some money, and you don’t need to do it in 4K quality streaming live casinos or spin the reels of 3D slots. However, these are precisely the elements that can attract an audience as they show the extent of the effort that the software providers for online casinos have put up to launch a quality game. Branded slots helped a great deal in this direction as the providers acknowledged that they would have to keep up with the franchise (of the movie, TV series, music band, comics, etc.) if they wanted to make them attractive to players.
- Innovative features
Your slot has a set of 3×5 and a bonus round of 10 free spins. Wow, don’t tell us, nobody has ever done it, we feel so excited to play it… It’s been a universal truth that when your recipe is always the same, at some point, people would get sick of it (unless you are Coca Cola or something). New features like alternative grids, innovative bonus rounds, and groundbreaking concepts are essential in this industry. Providers who rest on their laurels and don’t push for change will soon find out that they have fallen behind the competition.