Online Casino of the year

By Gambling Insider
Online Casino of the Year is quite simply one of the most booming categories in global gaming right now. Gambling Insider previews the 10 nominees for the hotly contested category below.

The Covid-19 pandemic has continued to affect our lives over the past 12 months, with varying levels of restrictions still in effect across most marketplaces. The gambling industry has been affected as much as any, and we’ve witnessed the growth of online casinos continue at an even greater rate during this period, as many turn to digital operators to access their favourite gambling markets and games. Here are the nominees for Online Casino of the year.

When considering those online operators which enjoyed a positive year, it would be impossible to leave out our first nominee: BitStarz. 2021 has been big for the operator, with 3.4 million players visiting the platform which was originally one of the first casinos to accept cryptocurrency as a form of payment. The casino also benefitted from a raft of new game launches for its players, many of which were released exclusively on the platform before anywhere else, and now boasts over 1,800 games in total. Despite marketing itself as a crypto-first platform, it also offers promotions in the form of cash. Free spins, bonuses and prizes have seen its popularity rise, and 24/7 customer service has also been applauded.

Our second nominee is the biggest poker site in the world. PokerStars, a division of parent company Flutter Entertainment, enjoyed a stellar year as many traditional gamblers turned to digital. The poker site, formed in 2001, contributed significantly to its parent group’s 12% increase in annual revenues in 2021, with Flutter reporting a turnover of £1.44bn ($1.97bn). It’s also been a year where PokerStars has considered its societal impact by teaming up with Women Who Code, the nonprofit organisation which is dedicated to helping women excel in tech careers.

Casumo has been a breath of fresh air in the online casino market this year, injecting a new vibrancy into the industry with its simplicity and user-friendly experience, ensuring that it earns a nomination. The company has placed significant weighting behind a push for responsible gambling, while ensuring that the experience remains fun and enjoyable. Its sportsbook daily specials are a key draw to the platform, allowing players to make fast, easy decisions.

Our next nominee, JackpotJoy, is now part of Bally’s Corporation. The brand continues to contribute significantly towards its overall group’s revenue thanks to strong performances in the UK market over the past 12 months. An operator which predominantly focuses on bingo-related games, the platform is the largest in that space across the world, continuing to enjoy stellar growth over the past 12 months.

Next up is last year’s deserved winner. LeoVegas will look to retain its crown as Online Casino for the second year running, and its confidence will be high following another successful 12 months. The previous few years for LeoVegas, the self-titled ‘King of Mobile Casino’, have been positive with successful updates to the platform, exclusive releases and clever expansions. This year appears to have topped that once more, with a swathe of exclusive releases, smart innovations to the product, and new markets with record NDCs for the platform. It’s been successful financially, too, with 2020 revenue amounting to €387,5m, a figure representing 9% growth. LeoVegas could once more be the name to look out for.

Mr Green is a deserving nominee this time around, and will look to go one better following its nomination last year. Since its launch in Sweden, in 2008, Mr Green has established itself in 13 different markets, and prides itself on best-in-class customer service. The past year has seen further growth for the brand, which now has over 1,000 casino games, as well as a live casino. Green Gaming is at the heart of everything the company does, and is its take on promoting responsible gambling for its players.

Our next nominee is a popular choice in the online casino marketplace, offering a wide selection of top casino games, including slots, roulette, blackjack, poker and more. 2021 saw another positive year for 32Red, which also operates the Unibet brand, among others, with multiple long-term partnerships signed and extended. The 1X2 Network and Pragmatic Play agreements were two of the most significant deals finalised over the previous 12 months.

Videoslots is another nominee which made it onto the shortlist last year, and will look to go one further this time around. As with 32Red, Videoslots also spent the majority of 2021 solidifying its position in the marketplace with a number of shrewd deals and partnerships. Key agreements include those with Synot Games, the gaming content provider of over 30 years’ experience, and BetGames.tv, provider of live-dealer betting games enjoyed by over six million people worldwide. Malta-based Videoslots has only gone from strength-to-strength this year, and is making good use of its many years’ experience in the online casino industry.

Our penultimate nomination is for an online operator which capped off a brilliant year with the landmark acquisition of household name William Hill. 888 Holdings also announced a 7% increase in revenue for Q3 compared with the same period last year, ensuring that it’s on a sound financial footing. Among other highlights of its stellar year include B2C gaming, as the vertical continued to demonstrate the operator’s depth in online casino.

Our final nominee has over 50 years of experience in the business, and has successfully built up an online presence in recent times. Over the past 12 months, Betsson Group has expanded its outreach, with operations now in Greece, Argentina, Colombia, Croatia, Kenya and Belarus. Like other nominees, Betsson has taken the opportunity to further expand its portfolio of gaming titles, with the platform boasting over 1,000 titles for players to enjoy. The company’s Q3, 2021 report shows continued growth, especially in the mobile space. Casino represented 74% of Group revenue, with mobile turnover delivering 82% of the total pot. It also launched two native apps for iOS and Android, expanded its in-house tournaments, provided themed table games with live Euro/Copa America scores, as well as improving overall user experience functions.

The Online Casino of the year award is sponsored by EGT Interactive.

EGT Interactive delivers advanced online gaming software and solutions which power some of the world’s top casino operators. We have over 200 classic online slots varying in exciting themeс in more than 20 jurisdictions and powers 400+ live operators. Our partners trust our one-time seamless API integration.

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