Stunning visuals and pretty design may be the reason that attracts us to an online casino, but it isn’t reason enough to stay there. What will make us dedicate our money and time to a specific vendor is buried under the hood and not visible at the first glance. The core of every online entertainment platform is software that makes it tick.
It represents a difference between a successful casino and the one people avoid at all costs. This advanced technology is mostly proprietary and every gambling platform guards it jealously. While we may not be able to tell you the exact specification of each piece of software used, we can tell you how it works in general and what you should be paying attention to. Read carefully, as this knowledge can save you both money and aggravation.
Types of Online Entertainment Software
Each online casino employs several types of software to ensure smooth operations. The best-known is called Random Number Generators, or RNG for short. They are the most scrutinized part of any casino’s working, as they determine the payouts and win chances. There are other software, however, that are equally important and crucial for the functioning of a casino. There is gaming software, which casinos usually buy from third parties. These are game developers that create games we play, mostly online slots. Then there is payment software that regulates how money comes in and out of a casino. Depending on the service provider, this software can be either acquired or developed in-house. Finally, we have mobile software as a separate branch, due to demands imposed by smartphones and tablets.
Random Number Generators (RNG)
Random Number Generators are the heart and soul of an online casino. When we talk about gambling software, we mostly refer to RNG. Even the smallest mistake in payout calculations can ruin a casino, leaving it broke. On the other hand, a mistake in the other direction can rip off players, giving an unfair advantage to the house. That is why RNG is a subject of frequent inspections by the government agencies that regulate online gambling. The key phrase involving RNG is Return to Player, or RTP. This represents the percentage of bets given back to players through payouts. For a usual online slot, that percentage is between 94% and 96%. The rest of the bets goes to the casino to cover overhead. The important thing to remember is that this is the percentage calculated over a lifetime of the game in question. In short periods, those percentages can vary widely, thanks to the RNG.
These days, a vast majority of games, if not all of them, are designed by third-party developers. These are the companies that design and create games. The market is dominated by just a handful of studios, each launching new titles every year. For the most part, you can play their games in almost every casino, as each is free to buy them. Occasionally, some casinos may open up for an exclusive game that will be installed on their servers only. This is a very expensive proposition, but if the game in question proves to be a hit, it can be very lucrative. The casino will benefit from the influx of new players, eager to try the new title they can only find in one place. It also impacts their competition directly, taking money out of their pockets. Still, the risk is too big and casinos rarely go for this option these days.
The core business of any gambling institution, online casinos included, is taking money from their players. Occasionally, the cash flows in the opposite direction as well, but casinos try to discourage that process as much as they can get away with. That is why payment software is critical for the functioning of an online casino. Depending on the payment option you choose, there are several pieces of software that are employed. What they all have in common is that they are proprietary and owned by the service providers. Credit card payments are handled by the credit companies’ software casinos receive when they sign the contract. The same goes for PayPal, one of the most popular payment methods today. Alternatives to PayPal include Skrill and Payoneer, but they all function pretty much the same. Finally, there is an option for direct money transfer, which is handled by the banks and their software. The alternative to all these is using cryptocurrencies, but that option is still far from being widely available.
Mobile users account for the majority of online casinos’ players, and it is easy to see why. Mobile devices are just that convenient to use, regardless of whether you are commuting or sitting on a toilet. However, they impose limitations for software developers, as they have specific requirements. That is why mobile software is usually developed almost independently. To ensure easy use and a bug-free experience, the developers have to meet certain criteria imposed by the hardware mobile devices use. For most devices, that hardware can’t be compared to even an average PC and the difference in performance has to be ironed out via cleverly written software.