The online gambling sector is becoming a massive global industry, with total revenues exceeding $USD 60 billion as of 2020. And, it is growing rapidly too – a 50% increase is expected by 2023. We know that surge has been felt in India, as well as other developing gaming markets in the United States (thanks to a loosening of regulation across many states), South Asia, and South America. In terms of revenue, it’s outstripping that of the global movie industry.
The online casino sector provides a huge chunk of that huge revenue of the wider gambling industry, and it is set to play an even bigger role in its future. It’s the evolution of that side of the industry, where we see new concept games looking to harness the power of VR, for example, that bodes well for its future growth. In contrast, you might say that sports betting has more of a ceiling when compared to online casinos.
The backbone of the online casino industry is supplied by software providers. Companies that develop games have become global business powerhouses in their own right, multi-billion-dollar corporations listed on major stock markets.
But who are the big players in a thriving industry? And which developers rank as the best? We can answer the first question easily. The latter, however, is a bit more subjective as players will have different preferences. And, indeed, there are also national and regional tastes in casino gaming. Saying that one is better than the other is like saying that Warner Bros is better than Yash Raj Films, or that Mohammad Rafi was better than Frank Sinatra.
But we can look at the most popular, influential, and well-received software developers. They are listed below:
The company that claims to be the world’s largest supplier of casino software, Playtech is most famous for its premium online slots, although it does create other types of games and software solutions. The games are sophisticated, but playing is as easy as choosing your bet and spinning the reels. You can click here for Age of the Gods slots, which is one of the big draws in the Playtech collections. No developer puts more effort into production than Playtech, with its games having video-game-like graphics and gameplay.
The undisputed king of live casino software, Evolution Gaming has made us question what constitutes a casino game. It began by revolutionizing the real dealer casino, bring games like roulette and blackjack to our devices. Lately, Evolution has moved into new concept games, such as Monopoly Live and Deal or No Deal Live. They are not unlike playing a tv game show from the comfort of your home.
Microgaming is the creator of the first casino games, going back to the earliest days of the commercial world wide web in the mid-90s. Its vast library of games has, of course, come on leaps and bounds since then. Microgaming also boasts the first-ever branded casino game, which was a title based on Lara Croft and the Tomb Raider video game series. Microgaming is probably not as fashionable as it was in its heyday, but an online casino without Microgaming is like a cinema without popcorn.
Once looked upon as a boutique developer, NetEnt is now one of the biggest in the world. It makes all sorts of casino games including slots, table, and card games (both live and virtual). It can be difficult to measure these things on a global scale, but NetEnt can claim to have created the most popular online slot game in history – Starburst.
Big Time Gaming (BTG)
We will finish with a developer that is dwarfed by the others on this list in terms of game portfolios, but which nevertheless has an outsized influence on the online casino industry. BTG created the technology for Megaways games, an ultra-volatile style of slot that can offer huge rewards. Almost overnight, Megaways became the hottest trend in casinos. BTG decided to license the technology to its rivals, who quickly released a flood of games for the Megaways genre. The small Australian developer changed the face of the casino in a very short space of time.