Introducing Slots and Casino Software

Updated April 15, 2024

When you’re playing your favourite slot at one of our featured UK online casinos, there is actually a whole load going on in the background that you might not know about or appreciate.

There are a lot of steps along the way to getting a slot game onto your screen, and knowing how it all works can help when you are choosing games or the best sites to play at.

It’s helpful, for instance, to understand the different roles that the various parts of the industry have to play. Software developers, game distribution platforms and casino operators all have an important role in delivering games, so knowing how these separate parts of the industry are connected is useful, and can help you be better informed about online gaming as a whole.

Who are the best slot game developers?

Slot game developers can generally be divided into three categories:

Big name software developers

These are the studios with the largest game catalogues and the biggest reputations. The developers in this category have been in the industry for a long time, and have a huge range of slot titles under their belt. They produce games in a wide variety of styles, including progressive jackpot slots that operate on their own networks, and the portfolio will likely include themed and branded slots as well.

The biggest developers have generally been able to enhance their standing in the industry by buying up smaller studios, although this is not as predatory as it might sound. In fact, when this happens, the big name very often supports the smaller developer, operating in partnership with them and helping emerging producers to get their titles out there and into online casinos under their own brand name.

The developers that fall into the big name category include:

Up and coming software producers

This is the next level of game developer, and you will more than likely have played plenty of games produced by these studios — they may even have created some of your favourite slot game titles.

Some of the studios in this category have long and well-established histories in land-based slot games, while others have grown up purely in the online space.

Although their game portfolios aren’t usually as large as those of the big names, up-and-coming studios still have plenty of titles to their credit, and you can usually play their slots at the majority of UK slots sites.

Common features of slots produced by up-and-coming studios include innovative gameplay, often incorporating game mechanics like Megaways, along with high production values and imaginative storylines featuring original themes with quirky characters.

The software producers that fall into the up and coming category include:

  • Ainsworth
  • AGS
  • Bally
  • Cayetano Gaming
  • Concept Gaming

Emerging slot game studios

The online gaming industry is expanding all the time, with new names regularly entering the industry, and so the third category of casino software developers can best be defined as emerging studios.

New studios are starting up constantly all over the world, often operating under the wing of one of the big names, and while they may only have a handful of games to their credit, most of these emerging studios are very ambitious and are making a big mark on the industry.

Slots produced by emerging studios might not be available at all of the UK casinos that we recommend here, but this is changing, and as they release more titles their presence continues to grow.

Boutique game developers tend to have their own distinctive styles, with priorities including high production values, original music and imaginative themes. Interestingly, a number of emerging studios are also very keen on retro games, and a number of them are returning to producing classic, old-school slots alongside games in a more contemporary style.

Some of the emerging studios to keep an eye on include:

What do software developers do?

Software developers are the creative team behind slot games. In their ranks, they will include mathematicians (to develop the algorithms underlying the games), programmers, designers, artists and more. These are the people who create the themes of games and devise the gameplay features and are responsible for the house style that a game studio develops.

However, game studios don’t run online casinos, and in most cases don’t play an active role in getting their games into casinos either, as this is can be a major enterprise and takes away attention from their core business. Rather, they will generally partner with platform providers to distribute their games.

What do platform providers do?

Platform providers essentially act as a middle man between developers and operators —they provide the infrastructure that enables a studio to get its games online at a third-party slot site.

Major names in the industry like Microgaming and NetEnt are sufficiently large and well established to have their own platforms, which they use to publish their own games and the slots of others.

However, the majority of smaller studios aren’t in a position to do this, and so instead they partner with game aggregators or platform providers who distribute their slots to online casino operators (big producers also do this as well).

There are a variety of game aggregators who provide complete platforms to supply games and support services to the majority of UK slot sites:

Playtech

Playtech Software

Playtech isn’t only one of the biggest and best-known bingo and slot game developers in the industry in its own right, it has also acquired a number of new and emerging game studios, and so has a significant range of titles under its banner.

In addition, Playtech is a platform provider that distributes the games of other studios to online casinos globally through the Playtech Open Platform and Playtech One platform. For instance, you can play slots by 1X2 Gaming, Rabcat, Playson, Inspired Gaming and many others at a variety of UK casinos via Playtech’s platforms.

It was once the case that Playtech only supplied games to casino operators who would offer it exclusivity. However, this is no longer the case and you can now play Playtech slots at a variety of leading sites alongside the games of many other producers, including Mansion Casino, 777 Casino, Casino.com and 888 Casino.

SkillOnNet

SkillOnNet Software provider

SkillOnNet is a game developer founded in 2005, producing a range of around 40 slots, but it is also a platform provider, delivering iGaming white label and turnkey solutions for operators across the UK and European regulated markets. Overall, it has a catalogue of around 3,000 games that it distributes in partnership with both boutique studios and major producers, including Microgaming, NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, Realistic Games and GameArt.

In addition to sites that feature games on the SkillOnNet aggregation platform, you can also play the slots that it has developed in-house at PlayOJO, Prime Casino, Mega Casino and Metal Casino.

Jumpman Gaming

Jumpman Gaming logo

Online bingo players will be familiar with the name Jumpman Gaming, but is also a provider of slot games to a variety of UK sites. Founded in 2009 and originally focused on bingo, it expanded its platform to include slots in 2016, and now partners with a wide range of game developers to deliver slots to casino operators in UK and European regulated gaming jurisdictions, including Pragmatic Play, Microgaming, NetEnt, Red Tiger Gaming, Yggdrasil and Big Time Gaming.

There is a great range of UK casinos where you can play games on the Jumpman Gaming platform, including Cash Arcade, Rainbow Spins, Aladdin Slots and Dove Slots.

Nektan/Markor 

Nektan Markor logo

Nektan is a well-known name in iGaming, although the company has been experiencing a number of difficulties in recent years. The UK Gambling Commission in 2020 suspended the licence that allowed it to operate casinos in its own right; however, the B2B element of the business, which enables Nektan to supply games via its aggregation platform to casino operators, has been rebranded as Markor Technology and continues to operate.

Markor Technology partners with more than 50 different game developers, including RedTiger, NetEnt, Blueprint Gaming, Realistic Games, Pragmatic Play, Microgaming, Scientific Games, IGT and more.

Which is the best slot game software?

Slot game software is produced by specialists who focus almost entirely on the creation, design and development of games. Developers generally don’t distribute their own games (i.e., get them onto slot sites), nor do they run online casinos — instead, they stick to what they know best, which is designing and building slots.

Most game developers have a recognisable ‘house’ style when it comes to themes, visuals, music and gameplay, although the largest studios will generally have a huge mix of games in their portfolios, and so their slots aren’t as instantly identifiable as some of the more boutique producers.

This is why when you play at a UK online casino you get such a wide choice of slot game themes, designs and gameplay styles. The casinos that we recommend feature games from multiple developers, meaning you can play slots in virtually every style imaginable, from both major producers and some of the newer names in the industry, all at one site.


What you need to know about slot game platforms

Software developers generally aren’t directly responsible for distributing their games to casinos. Instead, this tends to be done by third-party platform providers.

Slot game platform providers (sometimes called game aggregators) act on behalf of the studios to ensure their games can be found in as many online casinos as possible. In addition, platform providers will usually distribute the games of multiple studios simultaneously, and this is why when you play at a UK slot site, you get a choice of games from a range of different developers at the same time.

The big name developers — Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech — all have their own game aggregation platforms to distribute their titles, as well as the slots of their affiliates and other smaller studios as well. However, up-and-coming developers and emerging studios don’t have this sort of reach, which is why they need to use platform providers to get their games out there.

In addition to the big three, others well-known game aggregation platforms include:

  • Progress Play
  • Aspire Global
  • Every Matrix
  • White Hat Gaming

What you need to know about UK slot sites

Slot sites are the part of the iGaming industry players are most familiar with, as this is where we come to play. However, like software developers and platform providers, they have a very distinct, well-defined role.

Online casinos not only host slots and other casino games, but they also provide other features and services for players, such as signup offers, bonuses, gamification features, banking services and customer support.

What they don’t do, however, is create or operate games. It is software developers who design and produce slot games, and then ensure that they are being operated fairly, while the casino operator’s job is to focus on giving you the best player experience possible

What is a white label online casino?

A term you might have come across in the iGaming industry is ‘white label.’ A white label casino is one where an operator buys or leases a complete games package from a game aggregator. The casino operator then hosts these games on its site under its own name and branding.

The slots site operator is therefore responsible for creating the playing environment, while the operation and maintenance of the game are up to the platform provider. This process makes it relatively straightforward for both new and existing operators to set up a casino site.

It also has plenty of benefits for us as players, as the more UK slot sites there are to choose from, the more competitive the industry becomes. Competition ultimately means better value bonuses and signup offers, enhanced customer service, improved banking options, and an overall much more enjoyable playing experience.

Who are the new names I should look out for?

As well as many more new casino sites, there are now a lot more game developers around than there used to be. These new studios, which are based all around the world, produce exciting and imaginative slot games which can be found at most of the new casino sites UK players can access here.

So if you like elaborate bonus features, quirky themes, high volatility slots or games with outstanding production values, then we recommend checking out the slots by Hungry Bear Gaming, Gameburger Studios, Foxium or Cayetano Gaming, to name but a few.

Of course, even when you play at a new casino, you can still play slots developed by the big names such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Playtech, as well as other major players, like Yggdrasil, Quickspin and Thunderkick. To sum it all up, this means that today there’s more choice than ever before!

Award Winning Experiences

If you want a handy guide of places to play and the names of developers and platforms to look out for, then awards season is very useful.

Each year, various gaming magazines and online gaming review sites hold specific awards ceremonies, where software developers compete and are recognised for their contributions in a variety of different iGaming categories. The WhichBingo Awards are a good example of this and most of ours are decided by the players themselves, while other organisations bring together panels of industry experts from a cross-section of disciplines to vote on the best.

One such event is the EGR B2B Awards and here’s a list of the 2021 winners in various categories we feel might be of interest to you:

  • Bingo Supplier – Relax Gaming
  • Innovation in RNG casino software – Evolution Gaming
  • Innovation in slot provision – NetEnt & Red Tiger (joint entry)
  • Innovation in payments solutions – MuchBetter
  • Aggregator platform – Playtech
  • Innovation in mobile – Relax Gaming
  • Live casino supplier – Evolution Gaming
  • Multi-channel supplier – Scientific Games
  • Software rising star – Future Anthem
  • Casino software supplier – Relax Gaming
  • Mobile gaming software supplier – NetEnt
  • Mobile supplier – Red Tiger
  • Slot supplier – 1X2 Network

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Anita Heffernan Whichbingo Author

Author And Managing Editor

Anita Heffernan

Anita is well-known and respected within the online bingo industry, she loves all things bingo and slots and has been involved with online bingo and gambling sites since the late 1990’s. She has been the full-time writer and Editor of WhichBingo for much of that time and is respected by operators and players alike for her no-nonsense judgments and opinions. Anita has seen the highs and lows of the industry she loves, has seen it grow and develop and contract again into what it is today. She has worked with the biggest names in the industry and has a reputation for being fair and to the point in her writing.