About a year ago, we reported to you new software platforms that online casino and sportsbook companies were planning on using. While downloaded games were still popular at the time, JAVA and FLASH based games were gaining ground. Today, JAVA and FLASH based casino games have made their mark and are now commonplace for most gaming sites.
My personal estimates say that there are over 2000 casinos in the internet (no one actually has an accurate count). If you’re an online gambler and you’ve been gambling at the same site and haven’t tried others, you may want to read on.
StartCasino.com lists over 160 companies that develop online casino software for operators (licensees). This is a dramatic increase from the 93 listed last year. The operators create the gambling websites that you’re familiar with. Even though more than 2000 casinos exist on the internet, the games they use have been designed by the one of the 160 software development companies. This means many of these casinos are similar in the look and feel. In some cases, only the main page (the "splash page") is different. But with more software development companies out there, it means more choices. And it also means more fun.
StartCasino.com interviewed some of the 160+ online gambling software firms. We were curious what they’re developing for the future. We wanted to see what is coming down the road. Here's what we found:
Global Interactive is currently gearing up for the release of the Future Bet gaming system, due out in March of 2002. "The Future Bet gaming system goes beyond traditional casino games," according to Anthony Dickson, account executive at GI. "We are offering independent gaming operators with software options beyond what is considered typical or normal for the gambler." He told us that they are introducing pay for play trivia games, games of skill (such as chess and spades) and a tournament style, twisted-toys game. We asked about their sportsbook software. Mr. Dickson said, "Our sportsbook is offering a fantasy sports system and provide betting alternatives to sports enthusiasts. The operator will also have the option of using the lines that we provide, setting their own lines, or setting up their own unique betting propositions."
Inet Software has been traditionally known as a sportsbook software company. General Manager Tony Nigro told us that they are expanding into other gaming areas. "We currently have two new projects in development, a Horses module and a FLASH Casino." He explained that "with the Inet Horses module, the gambler will have every major horserace track across America at their fingertips. With the ability to place all track bets right online, the gambler will have a wide selection of wagering options for each race. All standard North American bet types (Win, Place, Show) and exotic bet types (such as Quinella, Exacta, Trifecta, etc.) will be offered. INet Horses wagering interface is also html based, allowing users to bet from any web browser without difficulty or having to install any extra software." As for the Casino Games, Mr. Nigro told us that iNet views that FLASH is the standard for dynamic web interfaces and applications. "With our Flash casino, the games can be viewed at any size and resolution." The Horses module is due March 15th and the FLASH Casino is due April 1st.
"IQ-Ludorum is taking a ‘single account for all gambling’ approach to its Casino and Sportsbook development during 2002," says John Roberts, general manager marketing at the company. "From a player perspective, having a single account to cover all gambling needs is convenient and reduces the need for payment into multiple accounts. From a gambling operator perspective, seamless sports betting and casino gaming from on an integrated platform, in order to increase player loyalty. Each player will be able to gain access to existing US Sports and traditional Casino games offered by the IQ-Ludorum software, as well as to a new progressive engine to support progressive slots, bingo and pools. IQ-L will also introduce new horse betting software and racing feeds for fans of North American racing." Mr. Roberts told us that their new features will be rolled out during the summer of 2002.
ReferBack.com, a casino-based affiliate program called, revealed to us that their three top clients, The River Belle, Gaming Club and Lucky Nugget, are in the final development phase of their newest casino software versions. Expected to be launched in the Second Quarter of 2002, they promise "an unrivalled level of player interaction and functionality - not to mention a host of innovative features that would keep players enthralled and entertained online for hours," according to Munier Sydow, the Affiliate Marketing Manager at ReferBack.com. "We keep a tight lip as to the exact specifications of the new offerings. We also just enhanced our own current software, which offers improved functionality for their valued Affiliates, who market the casinos on behalf of ReferBack.com."
Innoco’s Marketing Manager and Account Executive Joseph Kim told us from Korea they are developing a three-dimensional (3-D) casino game. "The market is saturated with two-dimensional (2-D) casinos. At the current moment, Innoco’s R&D team is developing a full 3-D online casino solution. All the games, including characters, tables, and effects will be designed and programmed three-dimensionally. Utilizing full 3-D, will allow players to experience a land-based casino atmosphere from their home computers, without all the smoke-filled air." Innoco expects their 3-D online gaming solution is expected to debut in the 2nd half of 2002.
"Realtime Gaming has been hard at work developing a new generation of online gaming features for this year," says Eddy Kleid, Marketing Manager for the company. "Among them will be the introduction of multi-player games such as Poker and Bingo. Players from different casinos using RTG software will be able to play at the same game, competing against one another. Also look for multi-casino progressive jackpots for Caribbean Stud, Let Em Ride, Slots, and Video Poker. Realtime will connect almost 40 online casinos to a single progressive jackpot system." Other enhancements Realtime claims will include: a larger 800x600 screen resolution, two new video poker games and a JAVA software platform. Expect these new products out in April of 2002.
As usual, UK-based Microgaming continues with its development, expanding a progressive network to continue with the success of their Jackpot Madness program. "During February, Microgaming is rolling out 3 stunning new progressive games to its casino operators," says Julian Perry, Head of Marketing at Microgaming. "With the introduction of Triple Evens Progressive Blackjack, Cyberstud Progressive Poker and Jackpot Deuces
Progressive Video Poker anyone interested in winning serious money had better look in a Microgaming powered casino."
Mike Aymong, CEO of World Gaming told us "World Gaming is working on next generation sportsbook software." Not new to horse racing, World Gaming is planning its expansion in this area as well. Mr. Aymong told us, "We are pursuing new content for our pari-mutuel product, from international thoroughbred tracks to world-class motor sports events." As for their casino software, under development is: multi-player poker, next generation slot machines, and culturally specific games with international appeal. "The expansion of the company's back office capabilities remains a high priority, along with growing an international player base through the introduction of multi-currency and multi-language gaming environments," Mr. Aymong said. All new verisions are expected out during 2002.
Sounds like 2002 will be a fun year for new gaming software. We at StartCasino.com hope you enjoy playing the games as much as we like talking to the people in this business!
Marc Lesnick runs www.StartCasino.com, a website that covers the software companies and marketing companies in the online gaming industry. Entrepreneurs looking to start their own casino business should visit the site to review the directory of companies listed and learn more about the industry. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.