The right software provider for an online gambling establishment can boost business, attract new punters, and drive expansion into new markets. The wrong one can ruin it all. The importance of choosing the right provider cannot be overstated, as it literally provides the foundation for running a gambling business. If this product is bad, using it will be inconvenient, and no one will do it.

Key Considerations When Choosing a Software Provider

Any online gambling parlor technically operates thanks to software that supports everything:

  • Its website
  • Back office
  • Front office
  • Payment processing system
  • Security and monitoring systems
  • AML
  • KYC
  • User registration
  • Bet execution
  • Change management
  • Integration with other internal and external systems.

All of this collectively is called “software,” and companies developing it for online betting clubs are called online casino software providers or simply software providers.

Kinds of such software providers can vary, depending on their business models and strategies, but usually, they can all be boiled down to 3:

  • Regular IT companies that at some point have started developing solutions for houses of gambling (examples of the most well-known companies of this kind on the market are IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, and Salesforce). These companies produce both regular software for a wide range of non-gambling businesses and solutions for gambling parlors.
  • Specialized IT companies, whose main or primary product is software for gambling establishments (examples include SoftSwiss, EveryMatrix, Nektan, Tain, BetConstruct, Digitain, BtoBet, Betgenius, Betstudios, and BGS). These companies exclusively develop solutions for gambling venues but do not create games.
  • Game design studios that have expanded over time to produce software for gaming clubs (notable examples include Quickspin, Betsoft, Playtech, NetEnt (now part of Evolution Gaming), and Microgaming). These companies develop both games and software for gambling parlors.

Now let’s look at the factors to consider when choosing a company and its solutions.

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Reputation and reliability

Reputation, as everywhere, is crucial in this matter. Tell me, which company would you rather prefer — IBM, founded in 1911 and having a global staff of 300,000 people, or some unknown company on the market, like Finnplay, Singular, Aspire Global, or SBTech? Start by researching information on Wikipedia. If the company doesn’t have a Wikipedia page (which is much worse, but not fatal), then open its official website to see what it has to offer. Also, visit independent review websites, and read about what this company is and what its reputation is there.

Variety and quality of games

As we have already discussed above, it’s not necessary for a software company to produce its own games. However, since integration with games is essential for any gambling parlor, its software should provide such an opportunity. It’s hard to imagine that modern solutions would not have the ability to integrate with games from game developers or aggregators.

When looking for a company that makes both games and software for the full-cycle operation of a gambling parlor, you can pay attention to the following:

  1. Microgaming
  2. NetEnt (now part of Evolution Gaming)
  3. Playtech
  4. Betsoft
  5. Evolution Gaming
  6. IGT
  7. Novomatic
  8. Yggdrasil
  9. Quickspin
  10. Pragmatic Play
  11. Play’n GO
  12. Blueprint
  13. Red Tiger
  14. Relax Gaming
  15. Realtime.

Keep in mind that often a company that is a full-cycle developer may NOT allow games from other companies in its solution, allowing only its own games to operate (usually 100-300 titles, which is not a lot for a modern gaming parlor). However, such companies do not dominate the market.

Customization options

Customizing software to fit your needs, business model, and market fluctuations is a crucial feature. Whatever solution a company offers, it will definitely have customization capabilities. However, it’s important for you to find out from vendors to what extent all these settings are allowed. What things can be customized? For example:

  • Branding elements (which are most important on a website that is customized in its appearance according to the company’s brand book)
  • Game selection, integration with other game providers
  • Configuring game parameters
  • Language, regions of availability, national fiat currencies, and cryptocurrencies
  • Payment methods and tools
  • Bonuses and promotions
  • Fields in user registration and profiles
  • Types and formats of reporting
  • Automated analytics, risk management processes, and user incident notifications
  • User groups (both on the punter side and on the side of the gambling establishment — in the latter case, there will be many more, with different roles and access rights)
  • Regular requirements of different geos, which may already be built in and pre-programmed to switch between them easily rather than manually adjusting hundreds of settings
  • Customer support channels, etc.

During the business evaluation stage of systems, you need to make sure that the existing settings meet all your business needs. Despite the fact that the gambling business has quite a lot of aspects and sides that need to be taken into account in operational activities, it is quite universal in core business processes. And modern gambling solutions are expected to cover these core business processes. 

However, it may also be the case that after studying all the systems on the market, none of them will suit you because they do not cover all your needs 100%. Those who deal with system analytics from the standpoint of user needs and business processes understand that this is not a rare situation. In this case, you need to choose several systems that are most suitable for you and discuss with their providers the possibilities, timing, and cost of modifications that would bring the system to cover all your needs. And, after receiving estimates from companies, choose the one that suits you best.

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Licensing and compliance

Compliance with international, national, or licensing requirements is an important component of software. Applicable to gambling software, being compliant means to cover such issues:

  1. Age and identity verification of users (from a pop-up message when entering the website asking to confirm age with a mouse click to providing date of birth and other personal information during registration and attaching scanned copies of documents confirming identity).
  2. Geo-restrictions. A gambling parlor must be inaccessible in a specific territory if it is not licensed there or if gambling activities are prohibited there.
  3. Responsible gambling tools, including not only passing identification within KYC and AML frameworks but also the ability to self-exclude from gambling for a certain period or permanently, request psychological assistance for gambling-addicted (or visit online resources), set limits on finances and time spent in the gambling parlor, deposit limits, as well as functionality for periodic reality checks.
  4. Requirements according to GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) — if the gambling parlor is in the EU.

And of course, a trustworthy gambling parlor will not operate without a license, at least any, so license requirements will also impact the system’s functionality. Overall, they fit into the points outlined above, but there may be other restrictions — you need to find out from the software provider which gambling licenses they are compatible with (usually indicated as one of the main system characteristics). Not all software is designed for all existing gambling licenses in the world, so this needs to be clarified.

Security measures

Security requirements manifest in the following functionalities of the software:

  1. Encryption (SSL, TLS, and others).
  2. Secure payment processing (or integration with payment gateways where this is ensured).
  3. 2/3-factor authentication, system access levels, captcha, and strong password requirements.
  4. Safe and reliable RNGs.
  5. Protection of the system itself and its components from hacker and DDoS attacks, viruses, breaches, data theft, copying, and more.

Integration and scalability

The question of integration and scalability becomes relevant when a betting club plans an active expansion market behavior strategy.

The “scalability” of the system essentially means that it will be able to handle operations just as confidently when the number of users, languages, currencies, payment systems, games, game providers, gaming sessions, registrations, and supported geolocations increases.

The “integration” of the system means the ability to interface with new modules, nodes, and external systems and databases. Examples of integrations include payment gateways, game providers, affiliate platforms, CRM systems, anti-fraud and risk management systems, geolocation tools, marketing systems, and customer support systems. Of course, many software solutions are already delivered with all of these listed as their part, so the question of integration may not necessarily be relevant to the software buyer if all the required functionality is already included.

Pricing and fees

Pricing policy impacts the purchasing budget and operational functioning of the software. Nowadays, almost no one in the market sells software as a lump-sum purchase with full transfer of rights to the buyer. That was in the distant past.

The prevailing pricing model today is SaaS, meaning Software as a Service. Essentially, you’re renting the right to use this software from the vendor, paying a monthly or annual rental fee. The purchasing company (or, more precisely, the using company) pays the cost of initial setup for the software tailored to its requests, including a fee for registering as a new corporate user of the system. If necessary, they pay for new developments to introduce new functionality.

The advantage of the SaaS approach is that the user company doesn’t have to worry about technical support and server operability, implementing changes and upgrades, associated technical work and personnel, licensing fees for third-party technologies used in the software, and everything else related to infrastructure support — the provider takes care of all that in exchange for the rent.

Other approaches existing in the market include:

  • PaaS (Platform as a Service). It’s similar to SaaS, with the difference that the gambling parlor is given access to an already configured full-fledged platform, where it registers and independently configures everything it needs, from the website to the front and back office.
  • White-Label. A pre-prepared platform that can be a PaaS online solution or a solution requiring installation on the company’s servers, where all branding is customized for the client, integrating into the system to a greater extent than it is made in other solutions.
  • Turnkey solutions that do not have extensive customization capabilities, mainly being normally functional but template-based solutions.
  • Custom development. This is a rare but possible scenario where software is developed from scratch according to the client’s specifications, over a long period of time, for a very large sum of money. Only in this case does the software fully or almost fully belong to the client.
  • Hybrid solutions — combinations of all the above.

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Researching Potential Software Providers

Reading reviews and testimonials

The process of choosing the right online casino games provider starts with getting familiar with the market. There are plenty of companies and solutions out there, making it quite challenging for newcomers in this field to navigate. Difficulties increase as one delves into the specifics of each available system, trying to figure out what’s what, what’s missing, and how it all relates to their business requirements.

In this case, reading reviews about supplier companies and their products can be helpful. You can also talk to those who are already using a particular solution. Typically, reputable companies not only don’t hide their clients but even advertise their list, boasting prominent names. You can reach out to some of them to get firsthand information on how things are going in reality.

If you don’t have the time, inclination, or necessary background knowledge to tackle the process of choosing the best providers casino, it’s important to turn to us as a trusted consulting company that has helped dozens of others choose the right software. We’re already familiar with all the nuances of supplier offerings and, based on your business requirements, can recommend the most suitable solutions.

Choosing casino software providers is a complex process with various pitfalls

Requesting demos and trials

One method of looking for casino software providers is through a visual assessment of their offers. To do this, you can gain access to explore the system’s features to understand its interface, ease of use, available settings, capabilities, and so forth.

During the granted trial access period, the employees of the gambling establishment are involved in assessing the system. They should be experts in their company’s business processes to conduct a truly thorough assessment and provide their formal conclusion.

Comparing features and pricing

It’s important not to be biased or inclined towards any one system, but to be open to evaluating multiple proposals from different vendors. This way, you can visually and practically see what systems are out there, what the differences are between them, and which ones are more functional, convenient, and appealing.

Comparing pricing approaches is important as well because, this way, you assess not only the immediate budget (for launch) but also the one in the long term. For example, Solution 1 may require $10,000 for launch, with monthly operational costs of $2,000. Solution 2 might require $50,000 for launch and $1,000 monthly. While Solution 3 could require $0 for launch and $3,000 monthly.

Analyzing these figures over a period of 10 years reveals that over this time frame, all solutions cost that:

  1. Solution 1: $10,000 + ($2,000)*12*10 = $250,000.
  2. Solution 2: $50,000 + ($1,000)*12*10 = $170,000.
  3. Solution 3: $0 + ($3,000)*12*10 = $360,000.

It turns out that Solution 2 is the most cost-effective in this perspective, despite its higher initial launch costs. Similarly, assessments can be made for other periods: 2/5/15/20 years (though we do not recommend evaluating over a period longer than 10 years, as the online gambling market is too volatile to make such long-term forecasts).

Also, don’t forget to evaluate other existing costs if they differ among the proposed systems:

  • Fees for the main software license and associated licenses
  • Charges for the operation of gaming providers and their games
  • Royalties or percentage deductions from your turnover/income, if any
  • Fees for registering new users of the gambling establishment and/or punters in the system, and so on.

Questions to Ask Potential Software Providers

Below, we’re looking at the questions that are advisable to ask potential software providers to receive more information about their offers.

What types of games do you offer?

As we’ve discussed earlier, not every software provider develops their own games. However, if they do, find out about their lineup (game types): table games (cards, roulette), lotteries, video slots, crash games, live dealer games, sports betting, and virtual sports.

How do you ensure the security of the platform?

This is the technical side of the issue, which will be useful for the technical specialists in your company responsible for security. Here, you will receive information about data protection mechanisms, user, financial, and casino security, how cyber-attacks are prevented, the system’s compliance with regulatory and licensing requirements, protection against hacking and theft of funds, and so on.

What customization options are available?

As we’ve discussed earlier, not every system can meet 100% of business needs. For some, those needs might be too specific. Either way, customization may be required. Set up working groups among your responsible specialists (experts), within which they will address all issues on the list, going through all business processes flowing in the software, to identify gaps in customization.

What licensing and compliance measures do you have in place?

Today, it’s rather difficult to come across a system for a gambling establishment on the market that isn’t tailored to at least one license. Vendors mostly develop for Curacao, but other popular solutions include the UKGC, Malta, Kahnawake, Isle of Man, and others. Start your conversation with a company representative by asking about which gambling jurisdictions their software supports to understand their capabilities.

How scalable is your platform?

The importance of scalability in systems is high only if your gambling parlor plans to grow and expand actively. If only organic growth is expected, there’s a high chance that any gambling solution supports it. Otherwise, inquire about how the system will handle, for example, if the number of transactions or customers increases tenfold.

Keep in mind that each developer builds a certain level of resilience into their system, and most modern solutions (at least those provided as SaaS) support scalability well. However, this may require more payment — you may end up paying more for system usage when the number of punters doubles, for example.

What are your pricing and fee structures?

The price structure you pay for system usage typically consists of the following elements:

  1. One-time fee for initial setup.
  2. Periodic fee for ongoing usage.
  3. RevShare — separately or in addition to the periodic fee for ongoing usage.
  4. Fee for serviced transactions (e.g., per million financial transactions, game bets, slot spins, etc.).
  5. Fee for customization and premium features, such as specific reports.
  6. Fee for additional services (technical support, software updates, marketing tools, regulatory compliance services, or the additional number of system users, etc.).

To compare costs from different vendors, assess them for one year, five years, and ten years.

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Conclusion

Choosing casino software providers is a serious task that defines the operation of the gambling parlor for years to come. You can try to make the choice yourself by following all the steps outlined in this article. But you can also turn to us as a reliable partner and technical manager for implementing and customizing systems in gambling parlors — we have the expertise and experience needed, and have already helped dozens of our clients get what best suits their business.

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