While American players may not be that familiar with NetEnt online casinos (also known as Net Entertainment), European gamblers have been enjoying their creations for well over a decade. That’s because NetEnt is one of the leading software designers in the world of online gambling, and their suite of options includes everything from slots and blackjack to bingo and virtual scratch cards.
Brief History of NetEnt
Throughout the 1970s, a company known as Cherry enjoyed a prosperous existence as a casino operator in Sweden. Unfortunately, that all changed when the nation passed laws prohibiting slot machines, and Cherry was forced to look for alternate ways to stay afloat.
Throughout the latter part of the 1980s, Cherry acted as a slot machine distributor throughout Eastern Europe. One of their employees was a man named Pontus Lindwall, and the rise of the Internet gave him the idea to move the traditional casino model into a virtual setting. After securing financing from a series of investors, he founded Net Entertainment in 1996.
For the first six years of the company’s history, NetEnt concentrated on basic games such as roulette and blackjack. Their catalogue was small at this stage, and they often sold their titles on a game-by-game basis. That all changed in 2002, however, when the first casino powered solely by Net Entertainment was launched.
Since then, the company has entered a period of rapid growth. They became publically traded in 2009 throughout the Nordic and Baltic regions, and their entry into the mobile gaming market was met with acclaim two years later.
2014 was a landmark year, as casinos powered by NetEnt dealt in transactions totaling over 20 billion euros. Their reputation for excellence had been duly noted by operators at this stage, with more than 100 casinos entering into agreements with the software company.
NetEnt and U.S. Players
Throughout most of its history, Net Entertainment has stayed away from the American gaming market. This has been a major disappointment to serious U.S. gamblers, as they’ve longed for a shot at some of the company’s huge progressive payouts.
Fortunately, that’s beginning to change. NetEnt casino software became available in the United States for the first time in 2015, although it can only legally be played within the state of New Jersey. While their scope may be limited at the moment, I fully expect additional states to approve online gambling and create more opportunities for NetEnt to expand.
Game Selection & Return Percentage
NetEnt is somewhat quirky when it comes to their selection of games. While they have a sizable number for players to enjoy, not all the expected titles are included. Craps is the most notable example, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find many others casinos that don’t offer this classic.
One of my favorite things about Net Entertainment is the fact that they include the return percentage for all of their games. This is rare in the gambling industry, especially when it comes to slots.
If you’re looking for their virtual slot machines with the most consistent returns, I suggest any of the following: Blood Suckers (98%), Kings of Chicago (97.8%), Devil’s Delight (97.6%), Simsalabim (97.5%), or Pirate’s Gold (97.3%). On the flipside, I suggest avoiding these lowest-paying slots from NetEnt: Relic Raiders (90%), Tiki Wonders (93%), Super Lucky Frog (93%), Geisha Wonders (93.1%), or Tales of Krakow (93.3%).
Like most casino software providers, NetEnt casinos have a mixture of progressive and non-progressive games. While the former certainly offers the larger payouts, the latter hit more frequently and therefore offer customers a more consistent return on their investment.
No matter which type of jackpot you’re looking for, Net Entertainment is one of the leading brands when it comes to paying players. They had 48 progressives at last count (mostly slots), and a total of 266 overall jackpots. Since June of 2009, these top prizes have been won over 38,000 times, with a combined payout of 381,349,269 euros.
The following are the biggest NetEnt jackpots ever recorded. If you’ve dreamed of a life-changing progressive payout, this is definitely a company to keep in mind.
- Mega Fortune Mega – Paid 17,860,868 euros in January of 2013, which is the largest online slot machine jackpot to date (regardless of company).
- Mega Fortune Mega – Paid 11,735,446 euros in September of 2011, which is the second-largest online slot machine jackpot to date (regardless of company).
- Arabian Nights – Paid 8,635,872 in November of 2012.
- Mega Fortune Mega – Paid 8,577,104 in November of 2015.
- Hall of Gods Mega – Paid 7,820,888 in April of 2015.
Net Entertainment has four different slot machines with an average jackpot of more than one-million euros. These include Mega Fortune Dreams (3,867,143 euro average), Mega Fortune (3,935,757 euro average), Hall of Gods (5,039,025 euro average), and Arabian Nights (1,231,423 euro average).
For players who prefer games with a greater frequency of return, the company also has a number of appealing options. Two of my favorites are Mega Fortune Dreams Rapid and Hall of Gods Mini, with average jackpots of 639 and 1,052 euros. While these amounts pale in comparison to what’s offered by the progressives, keep in mind that these top prizes pay (on average) every 4 hours and 11 minutes and 10 hours 32 minutes, respectively.
While NetEnt’s concentration on the European continent has kept them from being a household name in the online gambling industry, they’ve still managed to grow a sizable fanbase due to superior games and reliability. They especially stand out in the area of progressive jackpots, where a pair of their titles currently hold the record for the top all-time payouts in Internet gaming history.