Real-Money Casino Games on The Internet Since 1994
The first company to create real-money online casino games was Microgaming in 1994. Since these early days, the number of casino games providers has exploded. Currently, an average online casino can have over 1000 pokies alone from more than 20 providers (just check out the over 1100 pokies at Dunder!).
These casino software providers go from niche online pokies providers like ELK Studio to giant multi-billion dollar companies like Scientific Games, which provides games to everybody from lotto companies to Las Vegas casinos (under its Bally subsidiary).
Why Casino Game Providers are Needed
Casino game providers are a necessary part of online gambling. In the early days (pre-2000), online casinos made their games mostly by themselves. This was not a well working arrangement, as the fairness of the game depended on the casino. The quality of the games also left a lot to desire.
Microgaming originally ran its own casinos. Soon it realized, along with Netent (founded in 1996), it’s a better arrangement that they just make games for casinos owned by other companies and charge a casino for a fee. Now it’s up to the gaming companies to keep the games fair (the casinos can’t meddle with them). Its also in the game providers’ best interest to make great casino games that the players love.
Most important casino game providers
What’s the best casino game provider depend on your preferences. Netent has great pokies (like Gonzos Quest), Evolution the best live dealer casino games, Microgaming has huge jackpots, and so forth. However, it’s easy to pick our top-5 game providers as the most important ones.
Microgaming started the whole real-money online casino industry. They’ve created many of the world’s most played online gambling games, including jackpot games like Mega Moolah and popular table games like European Gold Roulette and Vegas Blackjack.
Netent, originally Net Entertainment, was the first one to create a Flash-casino in 2001. Before then, you’d always have to download and install a casino on your computer. But Netent figured it’s easier to play through your web browser and changed the casino business for good. This Swedish company has created two of the most played virtual slot machines ever, Starburst and Gonzos Quest.
3. Big Time Gaming
Big Time Gaming is the hottest company of 2021. They created Megaways pokies with never-before-seen mechanisms. These are currently the hottest pokies at most online casinos, especially since other pokie providers have licensed the Megaways technology. Currently, Megaways games are super easy to get free spins and other bonuses.
4. Evolution Gaming
Evolution Gaming changed the online casino world by making live dealer casino games a huge thing. These online games are played live at a real-life brick and mortar casino, and you can get in on the action by betting on your phone or computer. These live casino games are hugely popular, and Evolution Gaming is the biggest company behind them with hit games like Monopoly Live, and 2 Hand Casino Hold’em.
Playtech is the software provider for the largest online gaming companies, like William Hill. What makes it stand out from the other providers is that Playtech specializes in government-run gambling sites, providing games for local gambling companies all over the world.
Full list of casino game providers
Here is a full list of the most important game vendors of 2021. These are the 30 most important providers behind the top real-money games at the biggest online casinos, like LeoVegas and Dunder.
|1X2 Gaming||2002||Vampire Hunters|
|Ash Gaming||2000||Adventures in Wonderland|
|Betsoft Gaming||2006||Fruit Zen|
|Big Time Gaming||2011||Bonanza|
|Blueprint Gaming||2001||Buffalo Rising Megaways|
|Elk Studios||2012||Ice Wolf|
|Evolution Gaming||2006||Dream Catcher|
|Lightning Box||2004||Fortune 8 Cat|
|Genesis Gaming||2008||Golden Children|
|Leander Games||2007||Kraken Conquest|
|Merkur Gaming||2001||Extra Wild|
|NextGen Gaming||1999||Medusa Megaways|
|Play`n Go||1997||Book of Dead|
|Pragmatic Play||2015||Wolf Gold|
|Red Tiger||2014||Dragons Luck|
|Yggdrasil Gaming||2013||Age of Asgard|
|iSoftbet||2010||Lost Boys Loot|
As you can see from the list, most of the providers are from the nineties or the last ten years. There’s a couple of older companies, like Scientific Games (owner of Bally) and Novomatic, that predate the internet.
Bonuses for Game Providers
You can receive a casino bonus for any of the top game providers. Online casinos have welcome bonus offers for any pokies provider you happen to like, as you can see from the table above. Even the biggest provider in the world, Netent, can be enjoyed with a good deposit bonus.
There are subtle differences between different casino game developers when it comes to bonuses:
- Play’N Go: Best for free spins, Book of Dead is the free spins game of many New Zealand casinos
- Microgaming: Top deposit bonus offers, you can get up to $1600 from sites like Jackpot City
- Netent: Starburst is often the video pokie of choice when casinos hand out loyalty bonuses
The other providers are best accessed with deposit bonuses. Top software for bonuses, besides the ones listed above, is Blueprint Gaming, whose Megaways casino pokies are often prominently featured at top casinos.
If there’s one thing casino game providers love to compete on its jackpots, whoever has the biggest jackpot has bragging rights. Online progressive jackpots have been around since the late 90s, and by now, all the major casino vendors have one.
The biggest jackpots and providers:
- Mega Moolah / Microgaming Jackpot Network
- Mega Fortune / Netent
- Beach Life / Playtech
- Millionaire Genie / Random Logic
- Millionaires Club / Cryptologic
Mobile Casino Game Providers
The first major game provider to fully go mobile was Netent in the early 2000s. While Microgaming had created a few mobile games as early as in the 1990s, it and other companies still relied on downloadable gaming platforms.
Netent changed mobile gaming in around 2002 by creating instant play games that load in your web browser. This ensured that you can play its on a computer, Android phone, or iPhone. Netent was also the first to understand that touch screen devices are actually better for casino games than computers, and it created its patented Netent Touch technology that makes it easy to play pokies and table games on phones and tablets.
Once Netent had figured out the mobile technology, rest of the casino industry followed. Nowadays all casino software development aims for a perfect mobile gaming experience and each provider has its own mobile gaming platform (like Microgaming with QuickFire). Many of the companies, like ELK Gaming, have actually been founded by former Netent employees, so mobile gaming is very familiar to them.
Safety & Security
Online casinos are licensed and regulated by the authorities of their home countries. The same logic applies to casino games. Selling (licensing) a real money gambling software requires a license and to acquire one you need to show that your software runs fair. For example, a common requirement by licensing authorities is that the game plays the seame in play money and real money modes.
The biggest and most trusted authority to license gaming providres is the UK Gambling Commission. UK Gambling Commission ensures that a software company adheres to the commission’s standards, ensuring the software, be it a pokie, roulette or other gambling, is fair and safe to play.
Casino Game Platforms
Besides just casino game providers, there are also casino platforms. These platforms combine games from many different providers, as well as different kinds of games like casino, betting and poker. Well-known casino platforms include:
- Relax Gaming
- Nyx Gaming
- White Hat Gaming
- Microgaming Quickfire
- Every Matrix
Being aware of casino platforms existense is useful in the sense that casinos running on the same platform will have the same games and a very similar experience overall. For example, Wunderino and Casino Cruise both run on EveryMatrix and are very similar.