To ensure that their guests have an enjoyable experience, online casinos rely on gaming software to power their selection of games. This software is developed by third-party software companies like Playtech, Rival Gaming, Cryptologic, Vegas Technology, and Realtime Gaming, who are the “big five” in web casino software.
Software developers have to create online casino games that look and sound as much like the games in land casinos as possible. The games must also function reliably, and they must be fair and honest. Internet gambling sites typically sign multi-year licenses with software developers, and the developer is required to maintain and upgrade the games and is usually required to introduce new games periodically.
Right now there are three basic types of software used by casinos online: Flash-based instant games, downloadable games, and apps for handheld mobile devices.
Flash based games allow you to play directly from your internet browser. The big advantage to these games is that you don’t have to download anything, and you can basically play immediately once you have an account at the online casino.
Downloadable games require you to download the game onto your own computer. While there is a time factor involved in the download depending on the type of internet connection you have, downloadable software generally has better quality graphics and are more stable. There are large numbers of downloadable games to choose from.
Game apps for mobile devices like smart phones are the newest type of games that online casinos are getting into. These allow people to gamble from pretty much anywhere, freeing them from having to have a fixed internet connection in order to play.
The software and online gambling industries are currently undergoing a period of consolidation, with many mergers and acquisitions taking place. Casinos say that this will improve the player experience and make for bigger jackpots. In one case, one of the casino software giants, Playtech, is getting into the casino business itself, by purchasing Intelligent Gaming Solutions Ltd., a UK casino management systems company.
Playtech is an extremely successful casino online software company, experiencing gains of 26% in revenue in 2010 versus 2009. They recently introduced a number of very popular slots games, including Ironman 2 Slots, which looks like it will become iconic in the online slots world. They have also begun developing online sports betting software.
When you choose online casinos to play at, be sure that you check to see that they use one of the highly regarded sources for the software that powers the site. This information should be fairly prominently displayed on the home page of the website.
Software is the engine that drives the games on gambling websites, and it is what determines how well you enjoy your experience. Always ensure that the casino you visit uses reputable software providers and that the software is regularly audited by well-regarded third party auditing firms. This will give you the reassurance you need to have a great time, with confidence that the games are fair and that the payouts advertised on the site are accurate.