The very foundations of the best online casinos are built on having rock-solid casino software powering the games on offer. It’s worth noting that, for all the different online casino brands out there vying for your custom, they almost all source their games from a handful of very talented software developers.

Online slots in particular have been an incredible category of gaming that has created some real superstar software houses responsible for attracting so many new players to online casinos with their hugely entertaining products.

You’ll often find casinos described as being ‘powered’ by certain games software and it’s a fair description. That’s also given rise to players’ brand recognition of particular developers as the sources of their favourite games – kind of like hearing a tune you like, then getting into the band’s other hits. So what’s this got to do with free spins and bonuses? We’re getting to that bit now . . .

What are Software Bonuses?

It’s not just online casinos that compete with each other; there’s also plenty of healthy competition amongst the games developers who code their games. Every month, loads of new online slots are released and with it the need to attract players’ attention to them means hefty promotional efforts are required if a game is to stand any chance of joining the ranks of established classics such as Cleopatra slot, Rainbow Riches and Gonzo’s Quest.

For the reason above it is now commonplace for software houses to work in tandem with the online casinos they supply to offer ‘software bonuses’ linked exclusively to one of more of their games. To clarify that point, consider a casino that has games from a variety of companies – a ‘traditional’ promotion of bonus money allows players to play all or any of the games. With a software bonus the idea is to ensure the player uses the bonus exclusivley on one supplier’s game(s).

The easiest way to implement software bonuses where a casino isn’t exclusively powered by one casino software house is to use free spins on slots. This is not only a popular type of promotion with players, but also lets a software house drive traffic to new slots it’s released or reboot interest in an older slot that’s beginning to lose out to all the new rivals in town. We’ve noted this latter tactic in situations where a slot has been themed to tie-in with a film release – such as Microgaming’s Bridesmaids slot – and there’s a push to reacquaint players with the game after the original film’s drifted from memory!

Now we’ve introduced the concept of casino software bonuses, it’s probably time to introduce some of the big names in the game who supply many of the hit slots you’ll find at our recommended casinos. It’s these guys who may well be behind the free spins bonuses you’ll pick up at those sites.

  • Microgaming – Microgaming is one of the longest established online casino software houses with a credible claim to have created the very first games back in 1994! It has remained a dominant force in the industry and over the years has released over 400 online slots. As you can imagine with that many slots in its catalogue it’s got quite a presence in many of the best online casinos, and exclusively powers a good few too. The company routinely releases new slots into the market and so finding Microgaming free spins promotions isn’t too hard. In recent years we’ve seen these bonuses applied to its excellent Ariana, Thunderstruck II and Game of Thrones slots, so you can expect plenty of top quality gaming when a Microgaming free spins promotion is up for grabs.


  • Playtech – Another very dominant player in the casino software business is the mighty Playtech. Founded in 1999 this company soon broke into the big time with its focus on Instant Play games and ended up floating on the London Stock Exchange in 2006 for a very cool half a billion pounds. Today it exclusively powers a number of premier gaming brands’ online casinos and can boast a roster of over 500 gaming titles. Online slots comprise a significant chunk of that total, and include some phenomenal progressive jackpot slots as well as the legendary slew of Marvel and Age of the Gods slots. Playtech free spins bonuses are less common than Microgaming’s but do still appear relatively regularly – recent promotions have included its Age of the Gods slots, and its series of themed slots built upon the 60’s TV version of Batman.


  • NetEnt – Scandinavia’s Net Entertainment, or NetEnt as it’s more commonly known, has become an extremely familiar name amongst online slot aficionados in the last decade since it’s had a pretty magic touch when it comes to creating hit online slots. A slow-burn success from its origins back in 1996, NetEnt now commands an enviable reputation for the quality and innovation of its games. Many of the best online casinos make space for NetEnt slots, since it’s the name behind staggering successes such as Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest and the South Park slots. Regular releases of new games from the company means NetEnt free spins promotions are often rolled out to give its new arrivals a little push, so if you’re playing a NetEnt powered casino (or one that has its wares in the mix) there’s a good chance you’ll get some free action on those reels. It’s also worth noting that NetEnt free spins promotions often appear as no deposit bonuses with our recommended casinos such as LeoVegas and Gday Casino.


  • Aristocrat – A big name from Down Under, Aussie slot developer Aristocrat has a reputation for quality slots in both real-world and online casinos. It’s less commonly found exclusively powering online casinos but many of its games turn up in’s recommended casinos. Examples of poplar slots from this developer are Miss Kitty, Werewolf Wild, Pelican Pete and Queen of the Nile II slot. We don’t see Aristocrat free spins bonuses as often as those from the other three developers above, however any we do spot are always added to our latest offers to satisfy players who’ve grown to love what these Antipodean slot wizards can do.

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Software bonuses underpin a lot of the free spins promotions our recommended casinos offer, so if you’ve become a fan of a particular developer’s games then simply choosing to play at one of our recommendations that has its slots should bring you plenty of freebies you’ll love. It’s kind of like a formula – a casino with NetEnt slots = NetEnt free spins offers; a casino with Microgaming slots = Microgaming free spins offer. And that makes for a very attractive equation in our eyes.