There are at least hundreds of online casinos out there, though when broken down by their target geographical regions while still a lot, the number targeting players in each country probably comes down to double figures in most cases. However, the vast majority of these many casinos are powered by a relatively small handful of casino software providers. They provide the casino platforms that are your ‘virtual casino’ experience as well as the games that this provides a gateway too. Let’s take a look at some of the main players:
Established in 1994, Microgaming is one of the most influential software providers in the online casino industry with somewhere in the region of 150 casino operators using their products, the most well-known of whom is probably 32Red.
The company offers more than 600 casino games ranging from classic table games such as baccarat, roulette and blackjack to poker in numerous variations. Video poker games such as Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild, amongst the most popular, are Microgaming products. A huge number of slots and video slot games in all manner of themes and guises are also part of the Microgaming stable.
Playtech are another biggie and a major rival to Microgaming with a client roster of over one hundred online casinos. Slightly younger than Microgaming, the elder statesman of the industry, the company was established in 1999 and its first casino went live online in 2001. Playtech offers at least 500 different casino games as well as bingo and poker rooms and live dealer games played via video feeds.
As well as the traditional format casino table games Playtech also offer a popular variation on Blackjack called Blackjack Switch. The company is famous for its Marvel franchised video slots such as XMen, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 and The Incredible Hulk.
Cryptologic is a casino software company that can act as a warning to any company that believes they have made it and are an undisputed market kingpin. Ten years ago Cryptologic were one of the main players in the online casino world and had some of the biggest operators amongst their clients. However, they clearly became complacent and allowed their rivals to overtake them in terms of innovation and the quality of the games offered as internet speed and computer power developed at a fast pace. The beginning of their downfall can be marked as when William Hill dumped them in favour of Playtech. One of Cryptologic’s last major clients, Virgin Games, dropped the company in 2013 and unless there is a major turnaround it looks as though this particular company is doomed.