Most of the time, the iGaming industry requires the input of two separate groups. There are the operators, who own and maintain the websites that host all of the slots and other games players enjoy, and there are the software providers, who actually make the games – and often the platforms and systems that power entire casinos. It’s essentially the same model as a land-based resort: one group might own the buildings, but they still need someone to make all the machines and tables.
But that doesn’t always have to be the case, as operators can sometimes get into the development game themselves. For instance, Cayetano Gaming is a software developer based out of Sofia, Bulgaria that is owned by Paddy Power – one of the biggest bookmakers and gambling brands in all of Europe.
Not surprisingly, it didn’t start off exactly that way: the studio was founded in 2009, and at the time, had a staff of just five people who were dedicated to making games for computers and mobile devices. But it wouldn’t be long before this small team caught the attention of some big names, including Paddy Power, which decided to buy the company wholesale in 2011. Since then, they have become an internal developer for the Irish bookmaker, creating games for the sports betting giant that now appear in the UK and other places where Paddy Power is found.
Small Collection of Creative Titles
At the time of this writing, Cayetano has created around 70 games, which might seem low considering how much time they’ve spent in the business. However, this really reflects the amount of time that has gone into each game. These are unique and interesting games, many of which are somewhat innovative in the way that they play out. While they’re all slots, the various titles play differently enough to make this feel like a varied collection despite its size.
The first game we’ll feature here is Don’s Millions, a game all about mafia gangsters and the boss that runs the whole show. If you doubted the production value you’d see from this provider, you’ll have no more questions after you fire this machine up: there is a lengthy animated intro that sets the mood for the entire machine, putting you right into the belly of a seedy organized criminal syndicate. The game itself features five reels and 25 lines of action, all of which are set in what looks to be the office of the criminal mastermind.
The play begins like a standard slot, where you’ll be looking to match diamonds, wine, bullets, and (for smaller prizes) the traditional poker rank symbols. In addition, you can find wilds and scatters that can get you into a choice of three free spins rounds, each of which features a different type of special feature. But our favorite perk in this game are all the multipliers that can occur during gameplay. If you lose at least six spins in a row, you’ll start to get secret multipliers added to future spins, increasing until you finally score a win (making this one of the rare times where it might pay to lose for a while). The Don himself can also multiply your winning at the end of every free spins round.
If you’re interested in something that looks more like a classic slot machine, you might want to give Fruit Stacks a try. This five-reel, 9-line slot looks like it is a mechanical machine straight out of a land-based casino, and features all of the traditional symbols that have been a part of the industry for a century: bars, cherries, fruits of all kinds, bells and diamonds.
But looks can be deceiving. For one, many of the symbols appear stacked, and wilds have been added to the reels – a combination that opens up a lot of possibilities for massive, multi-line wins on each spin. The bells can get you into a free spins game with a random multiplier of up to 5x on all of your winnings. Meanwhile, hitting three bonus symbols will get you into a wheel game in which you’ll be spinning for the potential to take home a huge prize, something that has long been one of the classic bonuses on older mechanical machines.
Some of these games barely qualify as slots at all. In Diamond Dice, you’ll still see five reels, but there are no paylines, and you won’t even be looking to make combinations. Instead, you’ll start a spin simply hoping to land any of the many symbols – all gems – anywhere on the screen, as many times as possible. Each one, from pearls to rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, earns you an instant prize, with all of your winnings being cumulative. Of course, there are lots of blank spaces as well, which won’t earn you anything.
This game is highly customizable, as players can change their bet amount, and choose how many reels they want to play each time they fire up the game. In addition, you can pay a higher prize to spin one reel with absolutely no blank spots, giving you a guaranteed win of some size. It’s a fun and different format that might be a good change of pace if you like simplicity in your gaming, or if regular slots play has lost its appeal.
As you can see, there are some very different games among this collection, and we’ve only scratched the surface by talking about the titles above. The portfolio may be small, but it is a lot of fun to work through, and each new machine feels like a truly different experience, something we can’t say about many collections. A few other interesting games from Cayetano are:
- Dragons Wild
- Lucky Ladies
- Mayan Mystery
- Irish Clover
- Egyptian Wilds
- Magic Money
- Golden Thunder
A Successful Fusion of Bulgaria and Ireland
While we can go on and on about the quality of their games, the best way to demonstrate Cayetano’s reputation is their associated with Paddy Power, one of the true giants in the gaming industry. The Irish gambling firm could work with just about anyone they wanted, so the fact that they went all the way to Bulgaria to find a small, little-known studio to help make games for them says a lot about just how valuable this developer has proven themselves to be.
Thankfully, this group of developers hasn’t just sat in their studio pumping out games. They’ve made sure to make their products publically available, with new creations being shown off at many of the industry’s biggest trade shows. Cayetano Gaming has made appearances at the International Casino Expo, the Global Gaming Expo, and other major conferences, standing alongside many of the biggest names in the business. We haven’t seen them win any awards for their creations just yet, but this at least shows that they’ve been taken seriously within the industry, and we have no doubt that accolades will come their way before too long.
Great Games from an In-House Developer
Not many operators have their own in-house development teams – and even here, the Cayetano staff are technically quite far away from Paddy Power headquarters – but it could be an arrangement we start to see more of in the future of online gambling. While not every casino or gambling site could afford this, some of the bigger players certainly can, and it comes with advantages when you can get a team of talented designers to create games just for you.
That’s certainly the case here, as we enjoyed the Cayetano portfolio more and more as we continued to play their slots. These are creative and engaging products, the kind that break the mold of the typical cookie-cutter games made by so many developers these days. Yes, their collection is still small, and there are some companies out there that have produced more visually impressive material. But for the whole package of gameplay, presentation, and fun, these games are tough to beat.