Casino games on the whole are made by software providers rather than the casinos themselves. The main difference between casino sites is the software they run, how many software packages they provide and how they integrate these games together.
If you are looking to play a specific game or type of game then there is no point playing at a casino that doesn’t host the right software. Within this not all casinos that run say ‘Microgaming’ games are the same. Some will have greater depth than others and some will have bespoke offers that others don’t have.
Having an understanding of the main software providers is critical to getting the best out of your online casino portfolio and on this page we’ve got all the details you need about the major players.
Created by Chris Ash in 2000, Ask Gaming was bought by Playtech for £23 million in 2011 but is still run as a separate entity. That allows the company to spend more time developing the rich environment of their games to give them more life and excitement. A British company based in London, Ash Gaming has had licences for some of the country’s biggest TV shows over the years. That’s allowed them to create slot games based on the likes of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? and The X-Factor.
Slots are the company’s bread and butter, but they make a number of table games that punters will want to play too. Their cross-platform management system lends itself to mobile betting and whilst Ash Gaming may not offer a Live Casino, their parent company Playtech certainly does. Chests of Plenty is Ash Gaming’s best known progressive jackpot, with an average win of around £940,000.
In the casino gaming world Betsoft is a byword for visually stunning games. The SLOTS series of games they created are considered to be on a par with Pixar and Dreamworks when it comes to how good they look. SLOTS3 was the range that introduced 3D-style graphics to the online casino industry, for example. The combination of immersive visuals and decent storytelling make Betsoft games a thrill to play.
Founded near to Blackpool in 1999, Betsoft got their major break in 2014 when casino companies based in the United States began to use their software regularly. Who knows whether that was linked to the development of their ToGo system two years earlier, creating mobile versions of popular games that can be played on Apple and Android devices. Their progressive jackpots have different ‘pools’ in them depending on how much you’re betting, which allows more people to win them but reduces the amount of money available in the pot.
Few companies truly change the way a particular industry does things, but that’s a tag that can definitely be placed on Evolution Gaming. They practically invented the idea of the Live Casino when the company was formed in 2006 and are now one of the biggest providers of that particular service anywhere in the world. Obviously the live nature of the games that they offer means that slots or other computerised games aren’t on their list, but they’re still able to provide some variation to what they do.
Evolution Gaming have made their Live Casinos available for company’s to integrate them into their mobile platforms, meaning that punters can place a bet with a real dealer from pretty much anywhere they find themselves. They may well want to do that, too, considering that Evolution Gaming created the Jumbo 7 progressive jackpot in 2017. They put a million pound into the pot before anyone had even placed a bet, hoping that it would roll on to become a bigger jackpot than all previous slot progressives combined.
Robin Tombs, Andrew Dixon and Noel Hayden founded Gamesys in 2001 with the aim of offering something unique in a crowded market place. They did this by provided games that were so sleek and sexy they would appeal to a high-end user. This is reflected by the fact that Virgin, a company known for appealing to those that enjoy the finer things in life, used Gamesys to set up their online casino enterprise.
Bingo is Gamesys’s biggest game, with brands like Monopoly and Family Fortunes used to give the games a familiar edge. They have numerous casino and slot games in their arsenal too, though. The company doesn’t offer a huge quantity of games, preferring to ensure that what they do have is a list of quality offerings. As a result Gamesys games are often used to compliment a more comprehensive number of slots and games from larger companies in the industry.
International Game Technology was founded in 1981, though the company can trace its history back much further than that. The company specialises in slot games, though they make many others besides. In fact, IGT are one of the leading provider of online casino solutions. Their offerings are so numerous that the only complaint a casino company would have is that there are too many games to choose from. There’s also an extent to which their games lack personality and uniqueness, leading some casinos to combine them with games from smaller companies.
International Game Technology was the company that essentially invented video poker, so that’s something that they offer in a big way. Most of IGT’s games are now in HTML5, meaning that you can play them on your mobile as easily as on a desktop computer. They don’t offer a Live Casino but there’s a well-known progressive jackpot called MegaJackpots that has an average payout of £700,000 and gets dressed up in numerous different skins. IGT is the owner of another, smaller company called WagerWorks that is part of the family but run as its own entity.
The creator of the world’s first ever online casino, Microgaming was founded in 1994 and has gone on to become one of the biggest online casino providers around. There’s an extent to which the licences that they have alone can tell you everything you need to know, with the company owning the rights to make games of major TV shows and movies like Jurassic Park and Batman.
There are an absolutely huge number of games in the Microgaming catalogue, with the more modern ones built using HTML5. There are still some use Flash, but that’s becoming less common as they replace their older offerings. To give you some indication of just how big the Microgaming world is, not all of their games are available for mobile user and yet you can still play about three hundred titles on the go.
When it comes to online casino providers, they don’t come much better than NetEnt. The Scandinavian company was founded in 1996 and they eschewed the opportunity to produce quantity over quality. Instead they made their name by producing games that punters love to play thanks to their rich graphics and intelligent storylines. Indeed, the company’s first-ever proper game (Gonzo’s Quest) is as popular today as it was when it was first released. This is a sign of just how respected their slots are.
Net Entertainment, to give the company its full title, provides games for some of the biggest online betting companies. This includes the likes of William Hill, Sky Vegas and Ladbrokes. Most of their games were built in Flash and the company’s only recently begun to make the move over to HTML5. They make up for that by offering no downloads, instead ensuring that all of their games are instant play. NetEnt Touch was developed in 2011 to allow customers to play their games on the go, including their numerous Live Casino games.
Founded in Australia in 1999, NextGen Gaming was bought by NYX Interactive in 2011. The new company became The NYX Gaming Group, giving an indication of the fact that NextGen Gaming was more of a partner than a subsidiary. The games you’ll play from the NextGen Gaming factory are often found wanting in a graphics sense but offer an immersive storyline that more than makes up for that. In 2014, for example, they released a slot based on a graphic novel about the character Judge Dredd.
Dredd isn’t the only character you’ll find involved in a NextGen game. In 2016 they acquired the rights to DC Comic slots, meaning the likes of The Flash, Superman and Batman could have their own slot games. Any new offerings are built in HTML5, with Flash having been used previously. The shift to HTML5 allows most of their games to be played on the go on a mobile device, which perhaps makes up for the fact that NextGen Gaming doesn’t offer a Live Casino or a progressive jackpot.
Novomatic was founded in 1980 by an Austrian billionaire named Johann Graf. The company’s original business ethos was to create and distribute physical gaming machines throughout Austria, so it’s fair to say that they’ve got a decent history in the gaming world. The shift into online gaming began in 2011 when Novomatic bought a company called Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions, which was one of the biggest online gaming providers in Austria.
Since then Novomatic’s online gaming section has grown exponentially, with their offerings being big, bright and vibrant. Most of their titles are available to play on your mobile, including their numerous progressive jackpots. In terms of Live Casino games, Novomatic bought a company named Extreme Live Gaming in 2014. It goes without saying, though, that a company originally created to manufacture and then distribute slot machines has a speciality when it comes to the online games that they create nowadays.
Play’n GO was founded in 2004 and offers some of the best games you’ll find from any online casino provider. They create games with the latest technology available whenever possible, resulting in their most modern offerings being made in HTML5 and available for mobile play. Some in the industry consider Play’n GO to be the leaders in the market when it comes to mobile gaming, which is worth noting.
Play’n GO don’t have a huge number of games in their canon, but what they do offer is a quality selection with a decent variety to it. This is because they have more than just slots that you can play. There are around sixteen different table games and some video poker, but it’s their Instant Win games that capture the attention. These are essentially online scratch cards, which might make up for the company’s lack of Live Casino games.
Teddy Sagi, a London-born Israeli billionaire, formed Playtech in the Estonian city of Tartu in 1999. He might well have believed he was creating a company that would go on to have an influence in the world of online casino solutions, but even a man as successful as Sagi probably didn’t see just how influential Playtech would go on to be. Bringing in expert advice from the outside, Sagi saw his company grow to the point that it was able to buy one of the biggest online bingo platforms when it acquired Virtue Fusion in 2010.
Playtech release fifty new games each and every year, which will give you some indication of just how big their games catalogue is. These are a mixture of instant play and download casino games, with HTML5 now used more commonly than Flash. This, combined with the invention of the Mobile Hub, ensures that the majority of Playtech games can be played on the go on the likes of iPhone and Android devices. There are about thirty Live Casino games you can play courtesy of Playtech, with the company also having numerous progressive jackpots you can choose from. Jackpot Giant is probably the best-known, thanks in no small part to the average payout of £4.5 million.
Bought by Scientific Games in 2013, WMS Gaming has a history that can be traced back as far as 1946. Back then it was known as WMS Industries and produced pinball machines, though the links to the WMS Gaming that was formed in 1994 are slim. For the first sixteen years of the company’s existence they made physical machines for land-based casinos, making the move to the world of online gaming for the first time in 2010. Their first forays into the market saw them aim their games at a UK audience, gaining attention thanks to licences that let them make games for brands like Monopoly and films such as the Star Trek and Lord of the Rings series.
Scientific Games is now known by the name SG Interactive and whether you’re talking about them or WMS Gaming, a Live Casino isn’t something that you’ll find through them. You’ll be able to play most, though not all, of their games on your mobile thanks to their use of HTML5 as the basis for their new titles. You can play all sorts of games from the WMS Gaming / SG Interactive canon, but certainly WMS’s history in creating firstly pinball and then slot machines lends itself to slots being the most well-thought out offering from them. Meanwhile SG Interactive made a deal with the necessary parties in 2017 to allow them to produce slots and games with themes from the James Bond franchise.
Yggdrasil might well be the online casino provider with the strangest name, but it could also be the most suitable. Yggdrasil is a Scandinavian word that refers to a mythical tree that holds the door to nine different worlds, including Asgard. Given online games can transport you to an entirely different world when they’re at the best, it might not be as silly a name as it seems at first. Regardless, the company’s founder is a man named Frederick Elmqvist and he was once the CEO of NetEnt, so it’s fair to say that Yggdrasil boasts experience that most other newcomers to the industry would kill for.
Founded in 2013, Yggdrasil have avoided becoming a clone of NetEnt whilst also producing games of a similar quality to Elmqvist’s former employer. The company has gone for quality over quantity, leading to games with rich graphics and superb gameplay. All of the games have an exclusivity to them, due in no small part to the fact that Yggdrasil don’t have any licensing agreements with big TV shows or films. They don’t have Live Casino games, concentrating more fully on slot and casino offerings instead. Joke Millions is the company’s main progressive jackpot, once seeing a Norwegian play win £5.2 million.