RealTime Gaming (RTG) is one of the oldest software providers in the online gambling world. They’ve been operating since 1998, making the company over two decades old.
This may not seem like the pinnacle of longevity in most industries. But 20 years is outstanding in the online gambling world.
Of course, no software developer runs this long in online gambling without some controversy. RealTime Gaming is definitely not an exception.
In fact, certain gamblers don’t trust RTG. Why is this the case?
You can find out as I cover more on this provider and discuss some of its most controversial incidents.
History of RealTime Gaming
RealTime Gaming launched in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998. Gambling on the internet was just a few years old at the time, which enabled RTG to get a fairly early start in the industry.
The basis of their operation was serving US-facing online casinos. There were no laws against internet gambling, which enabled RTG to thrive in the industry’s early days.
RealTime established itself as both a notable game developer and turnkey solution. The latter sees RTG provide operators with everything they need to get started, from customer service to banking methods.
The US would eventually pass the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). This law doesn’t ban internet gaming, but it does criminalize the act of accepting payments related to unlawful online gambling.
Ownership decided to sell the business as a result. Hastings International, which is based in Curacao, purchased the company.
RTG now holds a gaming license in Curacao. This constituent country of the Netherlands is one of the world’s biggest providers of internet gambling licenses in the world.
Why Is RTG Such a Big Name in Casino Gambling?
RealTime Gaming doesn’t produce the flashiest slots or most revolutionary games. Instead, they develop cartoonish slots with solid graphics that, while fun, don’t shake up the industry.
So, why is RTG such a big deal over two decades after their launch?
RealTime is one of the few software developers that’s fully committed to the US. In fact, much of their business comes from Americans and US-facing casino clients.
If you’ve ever played online casino games from the US, chances are that you’ve come upon an RTG casino.
RTG has proven that they can develop fun slots with catchy themes. Here are some of their biggest hits:
- Aztec’s Millions
- Bubble Bubble (I and II)
- Caesar’s Empire
- Cleopatra’s Gold
- Coyote Cash
- Kung Fu Rooster
- Lucha Libre (I and II)
- Naughty or Nice?
- Red Sands
- Super 6
They all offer similar games, welcome bonuses, and promotions.
RTG has capitalized on this opportunity by continuing to operate in the US. As a result, their games and software have become quite famous in America.
You won’t have a difficult time finding negative opinions regarding RealTime Gaming. They’ve served some rogue casinos and have stumbled through a few questionable incidents.
Here’s more on the primary reasons why some have a pessimistic view of RTG.
RTG Slots RTP Varies From Casino to Casino
Most online gaming providers offer uniform return to player (RTP) for each of their games. Rival Gaming’s Japan-O-Rama, for example, features 95% RTP at any gaming site where it’s found.
Here are the three options that RTG gaming sites can choose from for each slot:
- 91% RTP
- 95% RTP
- 5% RTP
The top end of this range is excellent. Not many slots in the entire industry offer 97.5% payback.
But the low end of the spectrum is terrible. 91% RTP is akin to what’s seen with penny slot machines in brick and mortar casinos.
The problem is that you don’t really know what payout percentage you’re getting with RTG games. The best you can do is compare a game’s pay table across different casinos.
Assume that you’re interested in playing Asgard. You could then visit different RTG casinos to see which one has the best pay table.
But most other providers don’t put you through this much work. Instead, you can just google a slot’s name along with “RTP” to see its payback.
Powering Rogue Online Casino Sites
RealTime Gaming isn’t the greatest at vetting its clients. As a result, they’ve served some of the gaming industry’s biggest scam artists.
Their software powered the Crystal Palace group (a.k.a. Paxson Limited Marketing), which is one of the most infamous names in gaming history.
The South African-based company ran a number of blacklisted casinos. Their sites were known for awful customer service, abusive bonus terms and conditions, and even failure to make payouts.
Oliver Curran (a.k.a. Warren Cloud) ran this circus. Crystal Palace was sold and rebranded after he died of a heart attack at age 34, while sailing on his ill-gotten yacht.
RTG may not have had a direct role in how Curran operated his sites. But the association with Crystal Palace and other rogue operations over the years have hurt RealTime’s brand.
Questions Surrounding Progressive Jackpots
One fun thing about RTG slots is that they’re all connected to at least one or more progressive jackpots.
Some of the smaller random progressive prizes hit at a fair clip. However, the largest RTG jackpots have yet to pay out at the time of this writing.
Aztec’s Millions, which has been available for over a decade, offers a $3.1 million jackpot that’s never been won. Jackpot Piñatas, Megasaur, and Cleopatra’s Gold each have six-figure prizes that are still waiting to pop.
I’m not suggesting that RTG has programmed their biggest jackpots to not pay at all. However, their jackpots seemingly have extremely low hit frequency when compared to the average game.
The Willingness to Serve Gray Markets
One more knock against RealTime’s trustworthiness is simply that they have no problem serving gray markets.
I highlighted how RTG serves many US-facing casinos. They also operate in other unregulated markets throughout the world, including Canada and South Africa.
No country has taken major legal action against RealTime Gaming. The company is smart enough to back out of states and countries with regulated online gambling markets.
However, the absolute most reputable real money online gambling developers don’t serve gray markets. They instead obtain licensing in regulated jurisdictions and stay above board.
Conclusion – Is RealTime Gaming Legit?
As mentioned before, RealTime Gaming has a long history of success that dates back to the late 1990s. Companies don’t last this long without having some redeeming qualities.
RealTime Gaming has proven to be a good solution for companies that want to run an offshore casino. The company itself seems pretty legitimate.
The problem for RTG, though, is some of the entities they’ve served. Their brand was most notably dragged through the mud by Crystal Palace for years.
The absence of publicly available RTP and progressive jackpots that haven’t hit don’t help matters.
RealTime offers pay schedules ranging from 91% to 97.5% RTP. This aspect is confusing to many gamblers, who are used to finding payout percentages with a quick Google search.
The six and seven-figure jackpots that have yet to be won are downright fishy. I suspect that they’re programmed with very, very low odds of being hit compared to prizes of similar value.
Nevertheless, I’m confident that RTG is a legitimate software provider. They’ve withstood the test of time and haven’t suffered through any serious scandals on their own part.