Since its inception in 1998, Real Time Gaming has been a powerhouse when it comes to developing high-quality online casino games, which made them a force to be reckoned with in the online gaming industry.
The company has weathered its storms and remains a successful venture all over the globe, with an extensive selection of excellent and entertaining games that can be integrated with multiple operators thanks to the innovative platform.
About Real Time Gaming
Real Time Gaming (RTG) was one of the outlier online casino software developers for the simple fact that they, unlike a myriad of their European based contemporaries, had their start in Atlanta, Georgia, USA! Given our historical perspective how the United States would come to feel about online gambling and the companies which offered it this is very much a ‘Daniel in the lion’s den’ scenario.
It also appears that RTG was in no hurry to uproot their business and move countries. Having launched in 1998 puts them firmly in the founding fathers of online gambling bracket, and maybe it was their desire to see the industry legislated in the USA that made them stay on to the bitter end. However in 2007, with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act firmly ensconced in the US psyche, RTG moved their business off US soil and settled in Costa Rica.
It is worth noting that their move to Costa Rica coincided with the acquisition of Real Time Gaming by Hastings International (Curaçao). Hasting International however are managed by an international financial services enterprise called the HBM Group (Curaçao).
Where Angels Fear To Tread
One of the aces up the sleeve for Real Time Gaming has been their fearlessness in pursuit of profits. While the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIEGA) 2006 did not specifically make online casino gambling illegal in the United States it did make their intentions clear – Stay Away!
While there are many theories and conspiracies about how and why the UIEGA bill was snuck into law in the closing minutes of senate, mostly focusing on cash incentives by lobbyists and government figureheads with investments in the land based casino developments none of these will be worth a dime should America decide to open up the market to licencing. Bigger players like Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech have gone to great pains to distance themselves from their old US facing ways for this very reason.
For their part however it appears Real Time Gaming took a profit-now over a profit-maybe stance in a market which was then worth over $5 billion, a decision which has worked in their favour as very little has been done to pursue companies offering casino gaming online in the US and they have had the lion’s share of a very profitable market virtually uncontested by rival casinos.
Like Father Like Son
While dogged determination and a devil may care attitude are sexy in a film hero, and perhaps downright desirable in someone standing by your side in a difficult time it can lead to trouble when it devolves into complete lack of discipline and accountability.
This seems have unfortunately become the case with RTG and its related online casinos.
RTG has taken the market position that their role is that of online casino software provider and not community watch dog – even when the community in question are the casinos exclusively running their software.
At one point them turning a blind eye resulted in just about every RTG casino being banned, black listed or added to a Rogue list across the internet. Thankfully RTG felt the impact of this have been working towards restoring some sense of credibility in the market place.
We recommend paying close attention to the GamblersPick community reviews of the listed RTG casinos as these are real reviews by players just like you – the good and the bad will be laid bare and you can make an informed decision from there about where to spend your time and money.
In addition we have done internal reviews as well, where we feel a casino brand has shone brightly we have awarded them a GamblersPick Select badge.
We feel the combination of the Select status when combined with the Community feedback will set you on the right path.
But Do They Have Game?
It is fair to say that RTG online casinos offer good but not great casino entertainment. Despite their early launch into the industry they never really expanded their table game offering to keep up with the volume or quality of the games offered by the bigger players like Playtech or Microgaming
In addition their online slots suffer from much the same problem. The games may have reasonable looking individual images themed to the games overall story however they just don’t have that same attention grabbing quality that provider like NetEnt have made us accustomed too.
While their slots may not have the most amazing graphics and the layout is very Microgaming early-2000s they have added some useful player features:
- Game speed – regardless of their cosmetics the servers for the games are superb and each spin will come fast and smooth!
- Feature Guarantee – if you spin 100 times without hitting a feature bonus you will automatically be awarded one.
- Random Progressive Jackpot – nearly all RTG slots are linked to a randomly triggered progressive prize pool. No special bets or games you can suddenly just win a progressive!
- Jackpot Pyramid – Why settle for collecting our prize pool from only one game when you can link several different games and build a mega jackpot from the lot!
- Boiling Point Jackpot – Games with RTG’s Boiling Point Jackpot have more than one progressive jackpot to play (in most cases mini, minor, major etc) and each game has a boiling point, a secret level at which the winning player will activate the progressive jackpot. However unlike other progressives where you can only win one prize if you’re managed to push several of these prize pools over their “boiling point” you stand to win them all!
Another plus is the sheer volume of games on offer, if you’re move a quantity over quality person who loved to try myriads of games in search of that lucky one that has your name on it then you will adore RTG’s library of over 300 slots, video pokers, table and card games!
Speaking of card games, while they don’t have the most expansive array of them, RTG does in fact offer two card games exclusive to their platform:
- Suit ‘em Up Blackjack – A blackjack variant that has you placing side bets and even winning instant 2:1 odds if your first two cards are of the same suit. Not only that but you choose how many decks of cards go into the shoe, choose either 2, 6 or 8 decks and with matching suits paying as winning hands the odds are in your favour!
- Vegas Three Card Rummy – A card based Rummy game where the objective is to score as low as possible for the round in order to win. One of those simple to play, but hard to master games that while fun suffers from poor execution when it comes to gameplay smoothness and lack of sound files.
Real Time Gaming does also offer the game type that is becoming a staple for online casinos, Live Dealer games! They do offer a full suite of live games including Live Dealer Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and even Casino Hold’em.
As a seasoned live casino gambler there is a very clear difference between playing say blackjack at an Evolution live casino versus playing at RTG. Most live casinos have the table take up the entire screen so you have a clear view of the cards, however the RTG version has the dealer live in a smaller window with the majority of the screen showing a digital version of the cards being drawn and shown by the dealer.
This does break the immersion somewhat, while on a smaller device it could help with the seeing the cards clearly. Personally Live Dealer gambling is about stepping away from the virtual and back into the real, in which case the former full screen live table view feels like a better experience.
This is the problem with RTG’s game offering, they have a massive library, some really fantastic features and even a few unique games but overall the feel of the games is rushed and unpolished. In the case of RTG games good enough has become the enemy of great!
Gambling On the Go!
Seeing as how they launched in 1998 it goes without saying that Real Time Gaming online casinos were first launched as the tried and trusted original download casino, there did follow up shortly thereafter with an Instant Play version which was built on Flash. The majority of the free play or demo play RTG slots you’ll find available online nowadays are sadly still using Flash.
They are very slow in converting their existing library into HTML5 which is a shame as many of their peers including Microgaming have taken the conversion to HTML5 as a chance to improve playability issues, upgrade game graphics and in some cases have even gone so far as to add new bonus features.
With a library size of RTG’s this could be the perfect opportunity to raise the bar by upgrading the better games in their arsenal to great games!
While a little later to the mobile casino game than the other OG casino software providers Real Time Gaming’s offering is the better solution in their arsenal. The games run smoothly and the graphics are high definition. They have started to slowly add “player favourites” to the mobile slots library but there is no consistent new game launch date nor is there a list of upcoming slots so it’s a wait and see game.
The slots are being coded in HTML5 for play on Android and iOS devices but as of yet there is no solution for Windows phones.
Possible Silver Lining
When reading the official Real Time Gaming website there is a section which speaks about their B2G Regulatory Framework. The reason this could be good news is that if RTG and their online casinos are moving into the regulated space it will mean that they’re finally following their motto “Taking Gaming Seriously”. Which in turns could see some major development in terms of both game quality, game usability and overall casino architecture – seeing RTG step up to the plate and matching if not challenging the standards set by Microgaming, NetEnt and others would be a great thing to experience. They have the tools and the resources, now let’s see if they have the desire.