Online casino software providers are the companies behind casino games. There's fierce competition in the iGaming business. These slot suppliers keep pushing out new games with astonishing quality and pace. Discover the casino gaming software providers on Bojoko!
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Game providers and responsible gaming
Online casino regulation covers more and more aspects of gaming. UK casino sites have become more responsibility-minded, and game providers are following suit.
We sat down with Henrik Fagerlund the Managing Director of NetEnt and asked him how suppliers are meeting the responsibility and compliance expectations of players and regulators alike.
We want to make sure that players realize that when it's no longer fun, it's time to walk away. We simply don't want players to spend more than they can afford.
Henrik Fagerlund, MD, NetEnt
What are the key differences in casino operator and game supplier licensing?
HF: "In a nutshell, the casino operators licensing conditions come with much more requirements and focus around the players and payments. For the game suppliers like us, they come with more requirements around the games (obviously) and around guaranteeing game integrity and fairness."
How much do licensing conditions vary from one regulator to another?
HF: "On the surface, the overall licensing conditions are very much the same and are very much centered around player protection and responsible gaming. Having said that, every regulator have their own requirement twist and flavor to it and this is something that causes both the operators and suppliers to have to spend a lot of effort in ensuring compliance (where we as and industry could spend more time on innovating instead) in the different markets we operate in.
A dream scenario would be to see more standardization, like we e.g. have in the telecom industry. As an example, that many people don't think about, we have GSM, 3G, 4G, 5G etc. that are global standards, stipulating the requirements for all telecom suppliers and operators globally."
Why are NetEnt and other suppliers investing in responsible gaming? Wouldn't it just be better to have players lose more money?
HF: "At NetEnt, we want players to play for the right reason: to have fun. It's important to realize that while for most of the population gaming is a fun activity, for others it can become problematic.
At NetEnt we want to be transparent about this and we want to make sure that players realize that when it's no longer fun, it's time to walk away. We simply don't want players to spend more than they can afford, according to their entertainment budget. This is why we invest in supporting all the major responsible gaming measures coming from the regulators, eCOGRA etc."
What is the game provider's role in responsible gaming? How has this evolved?
HF: "We play a big role in responsible gaming together with the operators. It's evolving for the better all the time, largely driven by increased regulation in general, more markets regulating and just a maturing industry in general. There is simply less and less space for the "rogue guys", which is a good thing, of course."
How do you share responsibility for player safety with the operators? Are there areas of overlap?
HF: "Not as much as we perhaps could and should do. I think we can do more together. Having said that, data sharing is key in order to combat this but therein lies also a bit of a paradox with how much can be shared, due to e.g. GDPR and just in general the natural resistance in sharing of sensitive information between us."
Which tools does NetEnt give players and casinos to set limits and recognise problem behaviour?
HF: "NetEnts BackOffice supports all the measures that are stipulated by the regulators, eCOGRA etc. These include setting loss limits, self-exclusion, reminders, reality check etc."
What responsible gaming tools do you see becoming mainstream in the 2020s?
HF: "AI and Big Data fueled tools and algorithms will be it, for sure."
Are there any elements in NetEnt games themselves that could be considered problematic from the responsibility perspective?
HF: "Because the foundational mechanics of a slot machine is to build anticipation and excitement, there will always be a small percentage of players that slot games can be problematic for. Our main goal is, however, to provide entertainment to the player - we want our players to never play with money they can't afford to lose.
As far as game mechanics go, the most important thing is that players understand how the games work so they realize that these are fun games of random chance and not something which can be "beaten". For this reason we recently came out with a new player FAQ, to make sure our players understand the games, and play in a safe and fun environment."
Has the stronger focus on responsible gaming changed the way you make new games? E.g. the game mechanisms and the use of characters?
HF: "Yes, it has. We make sure all of our staff keep a responsible mindset when they make new games. Our games teams work very closely with compliance to make sure they are meeting the strictest industry standards. Graphics and characters have evolved in a more responsible way over the years."
What makes the best casino software?
To a large extent, picking the best casino software is a matter of personal opinion. However, we have taken the bold step to measure and quantify the gaming experience. The very best online casino software should score full marks on all of these six aspects. Use them to compare the top casino software providers.
The game's design is how the game looks on your screen. Poor design can make even the most brilliant concepts tank. Conversely, a well-designed game has the ability to hide weaker aspects and still provide a fantastic gaming experience.
Design preferences vary amongst players. However, outdated designs and flawed graphics will stick out in the same way that fresh, imaginative designs capture your attention.
Game supplier's games are exceptionally designed and visually engaging.
The appearance and visuals of the games are of a good standard.
Game graphics and design are neither particularly enticing nor off-putting.
Significant number of aesthetic issues with the games.
Poor graphics are the major reason you choose not to play this supplier's games.
Gameplay includes game features, user interface and overall technical playability.
Players expect a high level of usability from today's casino games. A game should be built in a way that makes playing a pleasant experience. There's a big difference between a user interface that looks mediocre and runs poorly and a highly polished, responsive game.
Every element works and runs smoothly, the game's interface is extremely easy to use and very appealing.
Game interface is player friendly and makes for a pleasant gaming experience.
Gameplay and user interface are acceptable but could do with some improvement.
The functionality of the game is slightly impaired or not fully convincing.
Many user interface issues with the games. Very poor usability that makes it difficult to play.
Players want their favourite casino games to be available on all devices. Games should run without issues on smartphones and tablets. In best cases, playing the mobile version should offer some extra value.
Exceptional mobile gameplay, diverse selection of games for mobile devices.
Missing or defective elements from otherwise acceptable mobile gaming, such as a low number of games for mobile devices.
Mobile gaming has obvious technical shortcomings that hamper the gaming experience.
Very primitive mobile gameplay lacking significant features found in the desktop versions of the games.
Game supplier offers no mobile games at all.
Bonus game features
The in-game reward system is the key to a satisfying and entertaining game experience. Bonus game features can be anything from free spins to re-spins, bonus games, random wilds etc. All of these special features will alter the outcome of the game and present bigger windows of opportunity to win cash.
Generally, players prefer more varied, original and thematic bonus game features. However, badly explained, hectic and unclear bonus features may create a confusing game experience. This can be a turn-off for many players.
Bonus games have original features which offer a thrilling complement to regular gameplay.
Games have great bonus game features overall but they lack originality or ability to entertain.
Bonus game features look common and quite average.
Very few bonus game features without any entertainment value.
Game supplier's games have no bonus features.
Sound design and game audio have become an essential part of the casino game experience. Audio that complements the gameplay immerses the player fully into the experience. Lacklustre music and sounds leave a negative impact instead.
Game music and sounds help orient the player within the narrative. With good-quality accompanying audio, players can follow the action easily. Audio is also entertaining on its own and creates an enjoyable gaming experience.
Brilliant use of music and sounds that complement and elevate the gaming experience.
Game supplier uses music and sounds well.
Game music and sounds need improvement.
Games have very basic sounds and might lack music completely.
Games offer a very poor sound environment.
Originality in gameplay can never be underestimated. Games that introduce new ideas do better than recycled concepts and mediocre themes.
New rules and game systems help in exciting and engaging players. People are swayed by original games. You'll always be looking for a fresh perspective when you try out a new casino game.
Pioneering game supplier with its own distinguished style, pushing the boundaries of game creation.
Game supplier occasionally comes up with new creative games and game features that are a success.
Game design, audio and bonus features are quite easily recognisable, but the games offer more or less the same experience every time.
No serious effort to differentiate from competitors. Follows safe, old patterns set by itself or other game suppliers.
Creates bulk games with no new features or unique style.
What are casino software companies?
Casino software companies, also known as game providers or suppliers, are firms that create online slots and other casino games. They constantly experiment with ways to delight their fans. When they succeed, more players try their new slots or live casino games.
There are big differences in quality and volume between online casino software companies. There are plenty of them, so you have always something new to try.
What are the most popular game suppliers?
There are some household names that should be recognised by all players in UK online casinos. You can play their most popular games in:
What's the difference between casino gaming software and casino platform?
The term casino gaming software refers to the software running the casino games. This is specific to each company making and publishing the games. Casinos usually have games from many different suppliers. The casinos are running a different online casino gaming software for each supplier.
Casino game software is not to be confused with the casino platform. In addition to games, each casino has to deal with bonuses, money transfers and customer support. All these functions are tied to the casino platform.
Some casinos have created their own platform; others are part of a bigger network or buy theirs as a turnkey solution. For example, all Nektan casinos use the same platform.
We have recently added casino platforms on Bojoko. When you happen on a casino with a style you like, check out the platform to find others with a similar style.
Lauri has worked in online gambling for over 3 years reviewing hundreds of online casinos, bonuses and games. Lauri has a masters degree in history from the University of Tampere. He is a live casino aficionado who has also created his very own roulette strategy.
Joonas has been in the gaming business for over 10 years. His texts are frequently featured in casino and gambling industry publications. Joonas is the Chief Business Officer of Good Game, the company behind Bojoko.