When we look at the websites of most online casino software providers, we’re used to seeing a very modern, slick design befitting a site that you’d expect to see on the web in 2017. That’s certainly not the case at Pro Wager Systems, a Canadian firm that has been in the business since 1998 – and which has a website that looks like it might just have come out of that same era.
But appearances can be deceiving, and we’d never evaluate a developer based on how attractive their website looks. That would particularly be a mistake in this case, as Pro Wager Systems has consistently updated their software and game offerings over the past two decades, with their current iteration featuring HTML5 and support for play in Bitcoin.
But what is particularly notable is the fact that the studio has developed a wide range of products that could be of interest to a wide range of clients. While they have created a library of casino games, they also offer a popular poker platform and bingo software, a set of products that have allowed this company to end up on a variety of sites, particularly in South American markets.
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Modest Casino Library, But Much More to Offer
PWS isn’t best known for their casino games, but there is a small collection of machines that players can choose from where this software package is offered. That starts with about a dozen or so slots, most of which are based on the same basic five-reel engine.
Without a doubt, these games have aged poorly over the years, and don’t offer the kinds of presentation features that you may have come to expect from modern slots. The graphics are mostly blocky, somewhat repetitive between games, and lacking in detail. We wouldn’t go so far as to say these are holdovers from the early days of the industry, but most of them look to be about a decade behind the times, which causes them to stand out from the other games that tend to be around them at many casino sites (and not in a positive way).
One of the better known games in this collection is Labyrinth of Egypt. It’s also one of the better looking machines, as it uses some pretty clear Egyptian iconography and a thematic musical score to build out the flavor of the game. Sure, the presentation won’t come close to blowing you away, but at least the colors and graphics pop enough to make players feel like this could be an enjoyable title before they ever try a single spin.
Once you dive into the game, you’ll find that it is a 15-line, five-reel machine that follows most of the typical conventions of modern slots. Players win by matching identical symbols from left to right across their paylines. Basic wins can be earned by hitting the poker rank symbols ranging from nines up through aces, while scarabs, hieroglyphics, pharaohs and more can deliver bigger rewards to players.
Two special symbols serve to spice up gameplay a bit without adding anything overly complicated. A labyrinth icon acts as a wild that can double the value of any combination it takes part in. The Tutankhamun symbol acts as a scatter and the gateway into the free spins bonus round, which also comes with multipliers attached to all of your wins. Hitting five of this symbol can also earn you the progressive jackpot prize in this game.
Similar elements are in play in another popular PWS slot, Lottery Fever. Once again, we’re talking about a fairly simple setup graphically, with low-detail graphics and a multi-colored background. The format is also essentially the same: five reels, 15 paylines, and standard left-to-right payouts.
The main differences here are thematic in nature, as this game is all about the joys of winning the lottery. Lotto balls feature as the common symbols, while you’ll really want to find luggage, cash, sports cars, and money bags if you want to win bigger prizes. Once again, there’s a wild (a pencil) that can double the value of any line it substitutes in, and a bonus symbol (the mansion) that can trigger the only special feature in the game. Again, this is essentially identical to Labyrinth of Egypt with an artistic makeover, something that’s always a bit disappointing to see.
Many of the other games in the library are similar to this, but with minor changes. For instance, Sherlock Slots offers the same style of gameplay, but does so over a nine-line format. The graphics are a bit better on this machine, with players set to match pipes, hats, clues, and magnifying glasses across the reels. Sherlock Holmes himself is a wild symbol, and – you guessed it – doubles the prize on any payline he takes part in. There’s also just one bonus round yet again, this time a pick ‘em game in which you’ll want to nab a criminal to earn an instant reward.
Other machines in the Pro Wager Systems slots collection include:
- Football Mania
- Magic theater
- Santa’s Workshop
- Whale World
- Urban Life
- Jungle Fever
There are a handful of other offerings from PWS that also fit into a casino site. There’s a multiplayer blackjack game that allows up to five players to sit at the same table, and offers customizable rules that can be different at every site that chooses to run this game. Similarly, there’s a very simple baccarat software solution that really looks out of place in a modern casino, but actually gets the job done pretty well. Honestly, baccarat is a game that can often be overdone, and this is a very easy version to play with no unnecessary frills on the screen, though we suspect this might be too basic for most players.
In addition, the company has created a number of different video poker machines. Each version is available in version that offer progressive jackpots, player chat that allows gamblers to talk to each other while they are placing bets, and complete customization over the pay tables for operators. Some of the machines they have created include:
- Jacks or Better
- Deuces Wild
- Double Joker
- Tens or Better
- Loose Deuces
PWS is also well-known for their poker clients, which are in use at several sites. Offering both tournaments and cash game play, variants include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, and Razz. The company has also developed a bingo platform that offers up all of the major variations of the game that are popular worldwide.
A Low Price Provider with Endless Options
While nothing that Pro Wager Systems offers is particularly impressive on its own, they have marketed themselves to their clients as a low-cost alternative to more expensive competitors. That can sometimes be a scary proposition – as they say, you get what you pay for – but despite advertising the lowest purchase price in the industry, PWS does provide a fairly solid and consistently stable platform for sites to run on.
The company has also earned a lot of points for being adopters of emerging technologies. That includes their quick adaptation to the mobile market and building games in HTML5, allowing them to be enjoyed on any operating system or device, be it a desktop computer, tablet, or smartphone. Perhaps more impressive is their ability to fully integrate Bitcoin into their poker software. In fact, they are so welcoming of the cryptocurrency that they even take Bitcoin as a payment option for clients purchasing their software.
Little to Interest Players, But No Warning Signs Either
Like many budget options in the software provider side of the industry, Pro Wager Systems doesn’t have all that much to offer players that are familiar with many other developers in the industry. Their games simply aren’t up to par (either in terms of gameplay or presentation) and even in markets like Argentina where there aren’t a huge number of alternatives, this will rarely (if ever) be the best software you can find in your jurisdiction.
On the bright side, however, we have no reason to feel like players should actively avoid this software package. The developers have a good reputation for honesty and integrity, as do the sites their games have appeared on over the years. We certainly don’t recommend you go out of your way to play at a PWS casino, but if their library is included at a site you play on, it’s perfectly fine to try one of their slots or other games now and again.