The Best in Slot and Live Gaming: How Casino Game Providers Operate

At some point, most players start to wonder about the inner workings of online casinos. It's often hard to believe that the casino isn't actually playing against you. Or that the casino doesn't decide to give big wins when a player's balance is running low.

In reality, however, online casinos have no control over what happens on your screen during gameplay. Your wins and losses are decided by the algorithms, designed by the game's creators, the providers. For a deeper understanding of gambling, it's important to know how these game providers operate.

Who Exactly Are the Casino Game Providers?

You might have noticed that many online casinos have similar games. This is because they employ the same companies, or providers, for their games. The games you see depend on which providers the casino works with.

Right now, there are thousands of online casinos around the world served by more than a hundred game providers. However, only a few of these providers have achieved widespread popularity. At most casinos, you're likely to encounter games from renowned studios such as Pragmatic Play and Evolution. But if you like games from a smaller, less-known provider, your options for platforms hosting these games will be considerably more limited.

A casino provider is an independent company that develops, maintains, and distributes games across many casinos. Contrary to what some might think, online casinos don't control these games. They can only change a few things, like how much you can bet. But even for these changes, they need to contact the game provider. Think of the casino like a shop, offering access to the provider's assortment of games.

How Do You Start a Casino Game Provider?

Many famous game providers started as small projects by enthusiasts, usually a programmer and a designer. They developed their games in informal settings and then shared them with established casinos or hosted on their websites. Some companies that began as online casinos with proprietary games later changed to make games just for other platforms, essentially becoming game providers.

Starting a game provider in today's market is tough. Looking at the top providers, you'll see they are run by people with lots of experience in the industry, with the staff count often exceeding a thousand. Most of these firms were established many years ago, even though they may have only gained prominence lately. For instance, Hacksaw Gaming started in 2018, and Nolimit City in 2014. It took them years to achieve notable success, but they are far from being newcomers in the industry.

What Are the Challenges of Creating a Casino Game Provider in 2024?

Today, mere enthusiasm is not enough to start a game provider. The challenges are not only about implementation or innovation, although these are significant obstacles given the intense competition among established industry players. The bigger issue is the regulation of online gambling, which has advanced considerably since the era of the earliest providers. Getting the right licenses and certifications takes a lot of resources. This includes money, time, and expertise. For new companies, accomplishing this can be out of reach.

But there's good news. Big game providers sometimes help new ones by giving them what they need to start. Take Yggdrasil Gaming, for example. They work with around 15 smaller studios. This helps young providers handle their business better, and their games become accessible across all casinos connected to the primary provider, significantly expanding their reach.

Additionally, industry leaders have established exceedingly high standards for game quality. For newcomers, creating games of comparable caliber is next to impossible. So, even if a casino adds their games, they are unlikely to be featured prominently. Fewer players will see and play them, which means the new provider won't make much money.

How to Integrate a Casino Game Provider?

Starting an online casino? You'll need to sort out things like payment systems and licenses first. And if you don't have games that players want, they are unlikely to get interested in your offerings. So, making deals with game providers is key in the initial stage.

There are two primary ways to add game providers to an online casino:

Connecting Providers by Yourself

Should you opt to independently integrate providers into your online casino, good luck. This approach is notably time-consuming, potentially spanning many months. Providers undertake their own scrutiny to see if partnering with a certain casino is viable, hence there are no guarantees.

Some providers work exclusively with casinos that are registered in specific jurisdictions or possess certain licenses. For instance, the games from providers like Scientific Gaming (WMS) and Greentube (Novomatic) stand out for their superior quality and popularity, but only a few casinos have them.

Also, remember that adding games from different providers might need different technical steps. This could mean you need more resources and might face delays, even after you've agreed on everything with the provider.

Connecting Through an Aggregator

In the current landscape, utilizing an aggregator is the most efficient way to bridge the gap between casinos and game providers. An aggregator acts as an intermediary, addressing the complexities of their interaction. As a casino operator, you'll see a list of providers you can add. Then, you can choose the ones you want.

Using an aggregator costs more, but it's often worth it. These days, even big online casinos that are well-known to providers still choose aggregators for adding games. This way, they use just one API to connect to all the games from different providers. Prominent among casino game aggregators are SoftSwiss and SoftGamings.

How Much Do Online Casinos Pay Game Providers?

Many players are curious about this, but there's no single answer. It really depends on the provider's business model and what they agree on with the casino.

While there are instances of one-time connection fees, the predominant expenditure for casinos in relation to game providers is through monthly fees. These fees are typically a percentage of the casino's earnings from the provider's games, ranging anywhere from 5 to 30%. This percentage varies depending on the provider and the nature of the games offered. Notably, the proportion of revenue shared with providers of live games is usually higher compared to that for slot game providers.

For instance, should players lose $100,000 in live games, the casino must give $30,000 of that to the game provider. Online casinos have a lot of costs, and paying providers is one of the biggest. There's hardly any risk for the provider in this context. Should players' winnings exceed their losses, the provider merely goes unpaid for that duration.

Who Creates Original Casino Games?

Lately, many online casinos have started offering proprietary games, like Blackjack or Crash with their own branding. They typically omit the mention of a specific game provider, implying that the casinos themselves might be undertaking their development. However, creating games like these needs special skills, and it's not practical for a casino to have a separate team just for a few original titles.

Instead, casinos ask their existing providers to make custom games for a fee. Providers are happy to help since they have everything needed. Moreover, there are many companies in the gambling industry that are not classified as providers per se, but they can customize game math, like for blackjack, and make the required software based on what the casino wants.

Upon the request of a casino, a provider may also tailor an existing slot into a branded variant, transforming various design elements such as backgrounds and symbols to resonate with the casino's theme. The game's math remains the same, and the provider's name is prominently displayed, just like with regular games. The same goes for live games. A casino may ask a live game provider to put their logo on the tables, studio walls, and dealer uniforms.

What Customization Do Providers Offer to Casinos?

Now, back to our initial question: What can casinos and game providers do to impact your gaming experience? Firstly, it’s important to note that casinos can't change the game's behavior or outcomes. While such manipulative tools might exist in environments hosting unregulated, scripted games, it's best to play at casinos that use licensed software. This ensures that the games are fair and secure, as they were originally planned.

Providers typically let casinos change only three things: the minimum bet, the maximum bet, and the return to player (RTP). Indeed, it's well-known that many providers support multiple RTP ranges, influencing the game's expected behavior. For example, a game could have an RTP between 89% and 96%, or 92% and 98%. A higher RTP means players have a better chance of winning.

These parameters are established when a game is first connected to a casino and can be adjusted later based on the operator's requests. However, RTP adjustments do not occur during an ongoing game. Therefore, choosing to play slots with low or high RTP depends on the player's awareness of RTP ranges and their concern for this specific setting.

Other aspects of games, like win frequency or average bonus round payouts, are ingrained in the game's mathematical framework, operated by the random number generator (RNG). Neither the casino nor the provider can change these. Consequently, no one can determine or alter the specific winnings a game will award to an individual player.

How Can You Verify the Fairness of a Casino Game Provider?

Doubtful about just taking someone's word in gambling matters? You're right to be cautious. For a game provider to be considered fair, their games must use a certified random number generator. This certification is provided by specialized testing agencies like iTech Labs, eCOGRA, or BMM Testlabs that check if the games operate on truly unbiased algorithms.

Typically, a game provider will put their RNG certification info on their website. They might also show if they have licenses in certain jurisdictions. These licenses serve as an extra layer of assurance, reinforcing the provider's credibility.

While checking every provider's certificates can be tedious, a more practical approach is to invest time in selecting a reliable online casino. A good casino will make sure all its games are supplied by certified and licensed software providers.

How Do Slot Game Providers Operate?

Let's delve deeper into the workings of slot game providers. Slots are a big part of online casino's game assortment, and most casinos have thousands of them for players to choose from.

How Slot Providers Make Games for Online Casinos

Through years of experience, game providers have established a systematic approach to developing slots. This method enables them to effectively produce games that are fun to play and promise substantial winnings for lucky players.

Coming Up with Ideas and Design

The initial phase of slot development is centered around creativity. The provider picks a theme for the slot and what kind of bonus features it will have. They also design how the slot will look, including the symbols and visual effects. This is when they decide what the game will look like for players.

Working on the Math

A separate team focuses on the mathematical aspect of the slot game. This group is responsible for setting the slot's RTP and volatility. Essentially, their task is to align the game's payout structure — whether it's frequent moderate wins or infrequent large ones — with the predetermined concept. They also have to set up a random number generator for the game, either by adjusting an existing one or creating a new one.

Testing the Game

Testing represents a crucial phase in the development of a new slot game. Its primary objective is to ensure that the game functions as intended and that the RTP remains within the acceptable margin of error. While manual testing plays a part, the bulk of this process relies on automated algorithms that simulate millions of spins. After looking at all this data, if the game works perfectly, it can be shown to casinos and then to players.

Integrating the Slot into Casinos

After the slot game is complete, the provider gives the casino what it needs to add the game. When players play the game, they actually connect to the provider's server, not the casino's system. This separation ensures the game's security and fairness. The casino's role is limited to relaying the player's balance information to the provider and receiving data about spin outcomes. Based on this information, the casino adjusts the player's account balance accordingly.

The intricacy of a slot game, whether it's a traditional three-reel classic or a sophisticated Megaways slot with numerous bonus features, does not alter the fundamental process of its creation. The development stages remain consistent, ensuring the same level of attention is applied to every type of game.

What Slot Providers Are Available at ETHPLAY Casino?

At ETHPLAY, we maintain a policy of partnering solely with licensed and reputable slot providers. Look at the different providers we have and see what special features they offer.

Provider Volatility Key Features Best Games
1spin4win Medium-High
  • Classic Symbols
  • Hold and Win
  • 243 Ways-to-Win
  • Multipliers
  • Stacked Symbols
  • Mighty Red
  • Golden Joker 100
  • Lucky Snowlight
  • Book of All Ways
  • Dolphin's Wealth
Belatra High
  • Jackpot
  • Bonus Buy
  • Multiplier Wilds
  • ‘Book of’ Mechanics
  • ‘Bonanza’ Mechanics
  • Mummyland Treasures
  • Princess Suki
  • Richy Hog
  • Dragon's Bonanza
  • Cleo’s Book
BGaming Medium-High
  • Jackpot
  • Bonus Buy
  • Bonus Bet
  • Megaways
  • ‘Book of’ Mechanics
  • Merge Up
  • Sweet Rush Megaways
  • Alien Fruits
  • Hottest 666
  • Book of Kemet
GameArt Medium
  • Bonus Buy
  • Sticky Wilds
  • Respins
  • Multiplier Wilds
  • 3 Reels
  • Halloween Farm
  • Lucky Reefs
  • Jingle Jokers
  • Chili Quest
  • Magic Dragon
Felix Gaming Medium
  • Progressive Jackpot
  • Instant Spin
  • Mystery Symbols
  • Multipliers
  • Expanding Symbols
  • Deep Blue
  • Book of Anunnaki
  • It's a Joker
  • Cazombie
  • Witcher Cave
Fugaso High
  • Progressive Jackpot
  • Classic Symbols
  • Stacked Wilds
  • 3 Reels
  • Multipliers
  • Inferno Devil 100
  • Moon Of Ra: Running Wins
  • Fat Mama's Wheel
  • Diamond Blitz 40
  • Power Wildz: Fruit Saga
Habanero High
  • Bonus Buy
  • Bonus Bet
  • Stacked Symbols
  • Sticky Wilds
  • 243 Ways-to-Win
  • Vampire's Fate
  • Hot Hot Summer
  • Fruity Mayan
  • Mystic Fortune Deluxe
  • Legend Of Nezha
Lucky Medium
  • Expanding Wilds
  • Two-Ways-Pays
  • Jackpot
  • Symbol Removal
  • Bonus Selection
  • Tiger's Fortune
  • Golden Sheila
  • Farm Ville
  • Blazing Cash
  • Bulls Rush
Pragmatic Play High
  • Bonus Buy
  • Bonus Bet
  • Megaways
  • Bonus Selection
  • Mystery Symbols
  • Gates of Olympus
  • Sugar Rush
  • Sweet Bonanza
  • The Dog House Megaways
  • Zeus vs Hades - Gods of War

How Do Live Game Providers Operate?

Beyond the realm of slots, many players are drawn to the allure of live games. These games emulate the ambiance of a traditional casino, complete with real-time interactions and live dealers. Creating such an immersive experience takes a lot of effort, with precise coordination and technical ability. Consequently, the number of providers specializing in live games is considerably lower compared to those offering slots.

Studios are the cornerstone of live game providers' operations. They are set up in different places all over the world like Latvia, Spain, Malta, and the USA. Additionally, certain live game providers enhance their offerings by broadcasting directly from actual casinos. This unique arrangement allows online players to engage in games alongside those physically present at the casino tables, creating an even more authentic experience.

Within these studios, the space is partitioned into numerous rooms, each designated for different live games. The most expansive areas are dedicated to blackjack and roulette tables, which are simultaneously broadcast to all connected casinos. Additionally, there are exclusive, branded tables that are reserved for players from specific casinos. Large-scale games, like interactive game shows, require more space and thus have their own dedicated rooms.

Live game providers focus a lot on safety. They have specialized monitoring centers that display live feeds from all tables and provide real-time status updates. The staff at these centers continuously oversee the broadcasts, ensuring seamless operations. They stand ready to assist the dealers that players see on their screens anytime, making sure everything runs smoothly.

Even though setting up a live casino provider is complex, the games themselves are relatively straightforward. Providers typically focus on classic games like roulette, blackjack, and baccarat. The task involves taking traditional rules to recreate games within their studios. For more intricate games, such as game shows or roulette variants with multipliers, providers employ random number generators, akin to those used in slot games.

What Live Game Providers Are Available at ETHPLAY Casino?

ETHPLAY features games from Pragmatic Play Live. While many players recognize this provider for its vast array of slot games, its live gaming options are just as noteworthy. Check out their innovative game shows, such as 'Sweet Bonanza Candyland.' Based on a popular slot game, it offers players a unique experience by merging familiar gameplay with the excitement of a real studio setting and a live host.

Completing the selection of live game providers at ETHPLAY is Ezugi. Their collection primarily focuses on classic table games, including blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. For those seeking a high-quality alternative to the more widely recognized studios, Ezugi presents an excellent option.

Have a great time playing casino games from the industry's best providers at ETHPLAY!

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