May 26, 2022 by

How Do Casinos Choose which Games to Offer?

As a casino watchdog organization, here at Slots Play Casinos we find many aspects of casino gaming very interesting, even fascinating.  One such aspect of casino gaming is how a casino chooses its games.

Now frequent readers of Slots Play Casinos’ broad range of information know that we prefer online casinos while at the same time open-minded enough to recognize the benefits of land-based casino gaming. The question of how a casino chooses its games is fascinating because the process is so much different between online casinos and land-based casinos.

Online Casinos Choose a Game Provider

Online casinos have no problem with space so they can offer as many games as they wish. Most online casinos offer about 300 different games. The key for them is deciding on a game provider.

When online casinos were first introduced “way back” in 1994, there were a very small handful of game providers and they developed games for the land-based casino market.

Game Providers Saw an Opportunity

As online casino gaming grew, the need for more game developers became clear. Several entered the arena to provide alternative games to the ones most online casinos were running. There was a clear progression between the increase in the number of online casinos and the number of game providers.

Most online casinos have one game provider while some have more than one, even several. We find that the number of game providers is a lot less relevant today than it might have been ten or so years ago since most gamers these days play on Instant Play which allows them to play directly on their internet server and also allows them to go easily not just from game to game but from casino to casino.

Slots are the Most Popular Games

At both online and land-based casinos, slots are the most popular games. There are many reasons why this is so. For now, we will simply state that the range of creativity in slots is the primary factor in making them as popular as they are.  We will discuss slots at length in an upcoming article.

There are two very important differences between slots at an online casino and slots at a land-based casino. The first is that at an online casino, the casino can add a new slot every month or as often as their game provider can develop them while at a land-based casino, because of space restrictions, the casino has to take a game out to make way for a new game.

The second reason follows from this. When a land-based casino wants to add a new game, they probably will need several terminals. That means that they will have to take out several terminals to make way for the new game.

As a result, there are fewer classic slots at land-based casinos while at online casinos, every popular slot is still there years later and the number of online slots that are considered classics grows all the time.

New Game Promotions

Online casinos can easily run a new game promotion with a deposit bonus and free spins. Land-based casinos cannot run this kind of promotion.

Slots Terminals Take up a Lot of Space

A land-based casino has to choose between slots terminals or tables for table games. Both tables and slots terminals take up a lot of space on land but they take up virtually no space online.

As a result, online casinos can offer many more variations of blackjack than a land-based casino can offer. On land, every blackjack variation would require its own table and these tables take up a lot of space. In addition to the space they take up, blackjack returns less to the casino than slots do so the incentive at all land-biased casinos is to have as many slots as they can fit into the casino.

Color Attracts Players

At a land-based casino, there will be a picture or image on the slots terminal to attract gamers’ attention. Online casinos do the same but there is a very important difference.

Land-based casinos are all about the flashing lights and whistles that permeate the casinos’ atmosphere. So the colorful pictures on the terminals are part of the landscape. At an online casino, the color is a lot more dominant to gamers’ vision and thus is a much larger part of the attraction of that particular slot to that particular gamer.

Online Casinos Offer Many Variations of Video Poker

At land-based casinos, video poker is played at terminals. Still, the casinos need all the profit it can generate since their operating costs are so high. Couple that with the very high return to player rate in video poker — which means less profit to the casino per terminal—and a land-based casino has much more incentive to put in slots terminals than it has to put in video poker terminals.

Online Casinos Offer a Wide Variety of Games

This is once again a matter of space and the limitless space in the digital universe. Land-based casinos have to choose much more carefully since they have so little space compared to an online casino.

Casual games cost land-based casinos revenue since they take up space. So, while creativity, colorfulness, and many other elements go into the decisions as to which games to take on at land-based casinos, the bottom line is that the bottom line is the single most important factor in deciding which games to offer at land-based casinos.

Competition is Vastly Different on Land or Online

Competition between online casinos is much different than competition between land-based casinos. With land-based casinos, if a player leaves he or she is unlikely to come back while online gamers can come and go as they please.

Just imagine a hot summer day in Las Vegas where a player would have to walk some distance to get to another casino and compare that experience to playing while all curled up on your comfortable sofa and in the comfort of your air conditioner as you go from one casino to another on Instant Play!

All Casinos Look to Profits

As it is in all businesses so it is in the casino business. The difference is that online casinos can seek profits by emphasizing fun while land-based casinos seek profits by emphasizing gambling.

The games the different types of casinos choose reflect this dichotomy. Online casinos can carry a wide range of games because they don’t have space restrictions and want to enhance the fun their gamers can have. Land-based casinos choose games almost exclusively on how much money they will bring to the casino.

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David is our amateur economist and political philosopher, weather enthusiast, killer Sudoku fan, and best darn game analyst we've found.

In the twenty or so years since graduating college David has completely changed his gaming practices. Where once he played mostly video games with the occasional swing at blackjack at land-based casinos, David switched course and became a regular Sudoku player. David says that he likes the intellectual challenge of solving difficult problems.

Since he began playing Sudoku in earnest, ... [Read David Connor full bio]