If you’re new to the world of online gaming you may be a little unfamiliar with the model by which online casinos operate. It is generally the rule that the casinos themselves do not provide their own software and that task is taken up by a whole sub-industry of software developers.
Of course in the early days of online casinos the job of software development would have been undertaken in-house; it was a brand new industry and there were no companies to licence anything from. As the market quickly matured in the subsequent years, independent software companies stepped up with the aim of providing dedicated software to the fast-expanding casinos.
That model tends to be the rule now rather than the exception and there are currently dozens of companies vying for a piece of the lucrative and ever-growing market. Many experienced slots players will be familiar with names such as Playtech and Net Entertainment but further down the list are many other smaller and younger companies such as Thunderkick and Quickspin Gaming who produce stunning online slot machines and have forced open the doors to the global market.
There’s been plenty of industry consolidation over the years and it can be tricky to keep up with who owns who but this explanatory article should make things a little clearer.
The online casino market tends to foster competition a little better then some other industries as well; casinos and the providers do not have exclusive deals meaning that (a) one casino cannot demand that nobody else uses their slots and (b) a software house cannot force a casino to use their slots exclusively. The result of this system is that the software providers are essentially offering their products to the casinos who are then able to pick the ones they want. This can only have a beneficial effect on competition and the quality of the product.
Because it’s the software companies who are providing the goods, it is also they who face strict regulation from whichever body licenses them. The system appears to work well for all concerned; the casino provides the graphical front end and payment processing while the software companies provide the games – the rest of us get to enjoy the funky slots.